Works from a recent wood firing

6 December 2016

Unglazed wood fired clay, fired within the kiln firebox. 100cm long.

Unglazed wood fired clay, bowl clay mixed with pumice.

Unglazed wood fired clay, bowl Coromandel red clay mixed with white raku clay.

Solo exhibition

12 October 2016

My first solo exhibition opening in Napier this Friday.

Pangeaseed Sea Walls, Napier

27 March 2016

I was delighted to be one of the invited artists to take part in the first New Zealand Pangeaseed Sea Walls project This international project aims to raise awareness of ocean conservation and sustainability by producing street art and murals in selected locations around the world. Here are some images of my wall in progress and the finished mural. Check out some of the amazing murals around Napier at @seawalls_ @pangeaseed

Refugee Raccoon

6 January 2016

My last print of 2015. Myth has it that Hermann Goering ordered the release of raccoons into the German countryside in 1934. What is true is that Germany has a growing problem of an increasing wild raccoon population which is spreading into other areas of Europe. There’s a obvious parallel here with the large number of human refugees seeking asylum in Germany in 2015.

Hand printed woodblock, ink on handmade flax paper. (100cm x 70cm)
Hand printed woodblock, ink on handmade flax paper. (100cm x 70cm)

Moving into sculpture

5 November 2015

My first attempts at creating a sculpture in clay. I wanted to see the Japanese catfish and monkey in a three dimensional form. Not yet fired… slowly drying ready for the kiln.




Thanks to John Gisborne for advice on ceramic technique. We have begun some collaborative work –


My drawing onto a piece thrown by John.


October 2015

Continuing the Japanese theme, these woodblocks were made for a recent exhibition in Napier. Printed on paper and calico.

Monkey fish calico

pair prints on paper


Mischief continues…

1 September 2015

Some prints finished in the last week.

Bakeneko uncut woodblock, plywood
Bakeneko uncut woodblock, plywood
Bakeneko, woodblock print on paper
Bakeneko, woodblock print on paper
Bakeneko, woodblock prints on calico
Bakeneko, woodblock prints on calico

Mischief making

16 August 2015

Back from my travels and working on a new series of woodblocks on the theme of Japanese shapeshifting animals.

Mujina, cut woodblock, plywood
Mujina, cut woodblock, plywood
Mujina, woodblock print on paper, 150cm x 120cm
Mujina, woodblock print on paper, 150cm x 120cm
Kitsune, uncut woodblock, plywood
Kitsune, uncut woodblock, plywood
Kitsune, cut woodblock
Kitsune, cut woodblock
inking Kitsune woodblock
inking Kitsune woodblock
Kisune, woodblock print on paper, 150cm x 110cm
Kisune, woodblock print on paper, 150cm x 110cm

Handprinting woodblocks on calico

29 May 2015

Sacrifice printed on calico
Sacrifice printed on calico

Large scale prints on paper cause some challenges when it comes to exhibiting and storage. I decided to try a new approach by hand printing a couple of my recent works onto pieces of calico fabric. I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the results and will definitely be exploring this method further.

Father Mapple on calico
Father Mapple on calico

This woodblock had been tricky to print on paper due to the amount of grain on the sheet of plywood. Printing onto calico produced a more satisfactory result with higher contrast.

Sample Exhibition opening

17 April 2015

Sample Exhibition

I am currently showing my Moby Dick series as part of a group exhibition with some of my fellow graduates. We are at the relatively new Community Arts Napier Gallery on Byron Street, Napier, Hawke’s Bay. On until 8 May – go and have a look if you are in the area.

Sample ExhibitionSample Exhibition

Proof print and inked woodblock

13 April 2015



Almost finished

12 April  2015



Completing the woodblock

09 April 2015


Shape cut out, drawing completed ready to Start  the process of carving the plywood block

Large woodblock in progress

 3 April 2015

sawing 3 Sawing 4

Today has been spent drawing the image onto a sheet of plywood, cutting it out with a jigsaw, then  sanding the edges. This work will be part of my contribution to the collective exhibition Sample, to be shown at Community Arts Napier from 17th April.


2 April 2015


Fergus (black)

Fergus, 2015. Mezzotint on paper, Plate size 120mm x 80mm © Morag Shaw

In April, I was fortunate enough to attend a mezzotint workshop given by Julia Ellery at Kathy Boyle’s studio. After hand rocking our own copper plates, I made this image of a fruit bat and produced several prints using a variety of inks.

Thanks to Julia and Kathy for giving their time and expertise.

2 thoughts on “Blog

  1. Louise Watson-Carver May 19, 2016 / 7:22 pm

    Dear Morag;

    Your work is amazing in general, but it’s your henge images that really caught my attention. They’re astonishing in their precision and detail; full of motion and personality… wow! The trickster trio really made me smile. The dancing bakeneko with that napkin on his head, and the kitsune even has a skull to cover his head… that’s lovely. 🙂

    The third print, which I theeeeenk is a badger, is marvellous too — all that detail and movement! I am wondering, though, if the tea apparatus (and especially the teapot), is more typically tanuki than mujina. Have I got the wrong creature? I’ve read of tanuki turning *into* teapots, but stories make mujina out to be less of a fan of shapeshifting, and more likely to use illusion on people… but I don’t even read Japanese and I’m no expert on youkai, just a fan.

    How on earth did you get into woodblock printing, as fiendishly difficult and time-consuming as it is? It seems a bit too demanding to pursue as a hobby. Were you influenced by the Japanese woodblock printing tradition?

    I am extremely impressed (no pun intended) 😉 by your wonderful work. It’s inspired! Thank-you very much for sharing it.


    Liked by 1 person

    • moragshaw May 20, 2016 / 10:56 pm

      Thank you for your very kind words Louise,
      You are quite right about the badger. There seem to be so many variations on some of the traditional Japanese folk stories that in the end I have borrowed from several in some of my pieces.
      The traditional Japanese multi colour woodblock prints (moku-hanga) is certainly an inspiration but I tend to work with large sheets of plywood and then cut out the figures to be printed. The printing, even in a single colour, is challenging – the wood cuts being too large to go through an etching press and so having to be printed by hand.
      Thanks again,
      Yours, Morag


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