Less than two weeks to see Greater Toronto Art 2024! Exhibition Closes July 28.

TD Community Sunday: Relief Printmaking with Alexa Hatanaka

With Alexa Hatanaka
Sunday, October 3, 2021
 | 1:00 pm
 – 2:00 pm
 | Zoom 

For our October TD Community Sunday, we were joined by artist Alexa Hatanaka for a workshop demonstrating relief printmaking. Relief printmaking is the process of cutting or etching into a printing surface. Once the surface is inked and paper is laid on top, the non-cut areas will leave ink on the paper, whereas the cut areas will not.

Hatanaka engages with traditional Japanese printmaking processes and techniques. The workshop shows participants some of these techniques that Alexa employs in her current practice, and specifically in MOCA’s exhibition Greater Toronto Art 2021.

In this virtual workshop, participants can follow along or observe all of the steps involved in creating a relief print using either linoleum or wood. The demonstration involves hand-painting without a press, and includes tutorials on carving with different tools and surfaces, paper handling and registration, oil-based inking, and printing by hand using a baren and spoon.

Materials Needed

  • Carving tools (any art store, Lee Valley Tools)
  • Painter’s tape
  • Ruler
  • Newsprint (any art store)
  • Oil-based inks (any art store)
  • Piece of glass or plexiglass for rolling out ink
  • Rags
  • Vegetable oil and dish soap for clean up
  • Brayer/roller (any art store or high quality at Takach)
  • Spoon
  • Piece of linoleum or wood (bass wood, smooth plywood)


  • Setswell compound (try Hanco, or check local art store)
  • Magnesium carbonate (try Hanco, or check local art store)
  • Baren (any art store, Japanese Paper Place)

Printing paper:

Alexa Hatanaka is a visual artist working primarily in relief printmaking, textile and paper. She engages in time-intensive, historic processes that support her thinking around community-building, environment, and persisting and honouring evolving cultural practices, such as papermaking and kamiko, the Japanese practice of sewing garments out of konnyaku starch-strengthened washi (paper). Hatanaka draws upon her Japanese-Canadian heritage in the scope and spirit of craft heirlooms, solidarity, individual and communal grit, cultural hybridity, and social justice. She creates public artwork, installations and performance work with community, collaboratively, and engaging youth which includes her work as founding member of Kinngait, Nunavut-based collective Kinngarni Katujjiqatigiit (2019-ongoing) and Embassy of Imagination (2014-2020). Hatanaka has exhibited at the Guanlan International Printmaking Base (Shenzen, China), The Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada House (London, UK), the Toronto Biennial of Art, the British Museum (London, UK) and NADA House Art Fair (New York). She is represented by Patel Brown Gallery in Toronto.
GTA21_Instudio_AlexaHatanaka_2020_IMG_9530_Arianna Behan_web

This event takes place on TD Community Sunday.
TD Community Sundays are made possible through TD Community Sundays by TD Bank Group through its corporate citizenship platform TD Ready Commitment.

MOCA thanks Ontario Trillium Foundation for their support of our Public Programmes and Learning Initiatives.

Image credits: Alexa Hatanaka, Arianna Behan

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