McClain’s Spring 2024 Newsletter

Spring greetings from McClain’s! We want to extend a big THANK YOU to all that submitted prints to the 2024 McClain’s Catalog. We are accepting submissions throughout the year and if you would like to share your work visit Join the McClain’s Gallery page to find out how. Catalogs are always free with any McClain’s order.

Cover Artist Wuon-Gean Ho

We are so very pleased to have Wuon-Gean Ho’s “Rainbow Room (Chasing Beauty)” on the cover of the 2024 McClain’s Catalog. “Rainbow Room” is from a group of over two hundred linocuts, loosely titled “Diary of a Printmaker.” Wuon-Gean started making this series of prints in 2016 for her father who was living in a care home, to bring him stories and conversations from the wider world. His previous love of swimming, a lifetime working with animals, his enjoyment of nature and fondness for food – tempered with an absurd sense of humor – drove many of the themes which she chose to depict in her works. The protagonist is the artist herself, playing the part of the joker and commentator on absurd scenarios in modern day life. Many of the images have hidden narratives which reward a persistent viewer. Wuon-Gean talks of funny moments in swimming pool changing rooms, and how we are sometimes overwhelmed by the screen. “Rainbow Room” talks of being an artist from a single rented room in a shared flat in the big city of London. Some prints speak of the challenges in life: the seriousness and satire of working as a veterinarian; or of being an outsider to the establishment. When Covid struck, the series evolved to comment on those strange times.

The Victoria and Albert Museum made a short film on her work which can be seen at:

This year, she will have a solo show called “The Heart’s Sight” in the University at Buffalo. For more information please see

For more about the life and work of this prolific printmaker, book artist, animator, writer, veterinarian and teacher, please read Wuon-Gean’s resume at her website.

SGCI and MAPC Conferences

We’re back! This is the first Southern Graphics International Conference (SGCI) that we’ve attended in person since 2019 and it felt great. Longtime McClain’s employees Daniel and Christin along with Nabil, who joined McClain’s a year ago, traveled to Providence for this year’s conference titled “Verified by Proof.” Thank you to all of you who attended and stopped by our booth at the Vendor Fair. We hope you enjoyed visiting with us as much as we enjoyed visiting with you! If you haven’t heard of SGCI, it is an educational non-profit organization with the mission of “connecting artists of original prints, drawings, books, and handmade paper.” SGCI’s annual conference is hosted by a different university each year; participants come from all over the globe as well as the U.S. Along with the popular Vendor Fair, there are open portfolio sessions for emerging and professional artists, demonstrations, artist panels, print exhibitions and much more. Stay tuned for further information on the next SGCI conference PUERTOGRABANDO 2025 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The next conference McClain’s will be attending this year will be the Mid-America Print Council (MAPC) biennial conference at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS from October 2-6th, 2024 with the theme “From the Ashes”. Visit the MAPC website for further information. We hope to see you there!

Print Day in May THIS Saturday, May 4th

Coming soon! Print Day in May takes place on Saturday, May 4th and is open to anyone who would like to participate. Print Day in May is an annual international celebration of printmaking. To attend, make a print using any printmaking technique on Saturday, May 4th and share it on Instagram, Facebook, or if you have bowed out of social media, on the Print Day in May’s blog. It’s free to participate. Just post your print, comment, engage and have fun!

McClain’s is a proud sponsor and this year we are giving away a $300 McClain’s Gift Certificate for a relief print posted in celebration of Print Day in May. To win prizes you must tag Print Day in May as well as a participating sponsor, like us by using #mcclainsprintmakingsupplies! There are many other wonderful sponsors that are contributing prizes as well! Visit Print Day in May for further information and have a great time, we hope to see you there.

Aogami Moku Hanga To from Michihamono

This is definitely a year for new products at McClain’s and the biggest one is a new line of tools from Michihamono! Based in Miki City, an area with a long and rich history of tool manufacturing, Michihamono is a well-established brand which blends traditional craftsmanship with contemporary standards and technology. While Michihamono manufactures a number of tool lines, these are their “cutlery steel carving knives” which we are calling Aogami Moku Hanga To. These are very good quality tools for students and experienced printmakers alike.  The Aogami Moku Hanga To line features a variety of sizes of the u-gouge, v-gouge, chisel and left and right handed knifes. A couple points of difference, the Aogami chisels are bull-nosed like our Futatsu Wari Aisuki and the Aogami knives come in both right and left-handed options, like our Josei and Futatsu Wari lines.

Another notable feature of Michihamono tools is their anti-rust coating. The blades of these tools are coated with a thin layer of shellac, so if you live in a rust-prone area like Hawaii or Florida they may be a good choice for you. If you find this coating interferes with cutting it can easily be removed by honing or with a solvent, but it will also gradually be polished from the tip of the blade through the carving process.

These are beautifully crafted tools and carve just as you would expect a tool from McClain’s to carve. For more technical information on the materials that make up the Aogami Moku Hanga To line and manufacturing process please visit the Aogami Moku Hanga To page. 

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