Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Summer 2006, vol 4 no 2


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Bette Norcross Wappner ~

Woodblock & Calligraphy


Bette Norcross Wappner Bette Norcross Wappner, artist and poet, lives in northern Kentucky with her husband and two children. "b'oki" - the pen name given to her during the WHCBeginners haiku workshop in autumn 2002 loosely reflects the beauty of offshore islands and the creative inspiration she receives while being near bodies of water, especially the ocean.

Previously a graphic designer, this artist and poet now enjoys creating woodblock prints utilizing an old and traditional non-toxic water-based Japanese technique called moku-hanga. Bette has worked with woodblock printmaking since January 2003, taking her first workshop from Takuji Hamanaka, seen here at and also featured in Simply Haiku March/April 2002 archives by Bette while she was the Simply Haiku Traditional Haiga Editor.

Bette enjoys the whole aesthetic process of woodblock printing - from expressing the sacredness of nature and human nature into a design, to the therapeutic aspect of carving away the wood into a relief image, revealing texture and emotion. One does not need a heavy, steel machine press or toxic oil-based ink to create moku-hanga prints...only a simple, round flat tool made from nature called a baren. A baren consists of a coil with very thin strands of braided bamboo placed against a thin wooden disc and carefully covered with a bamboo sheath. By hand printing with a baren, one puts their heart, soul, and physical energy into melding the ink into the paper, creating a unity of nature and art that can only be truly appreciated by feeling and seeing its texture while holding it up to the light of the sun.

Most of Bette's prints include haiku and special effects of paper embossing and ground mica powder mixed into the ink or rice paste binder creating a reflective quality. To learn more about this type of special effects print called 'surimono' and the moku-hanga process, please visit and To see more of Bette's woodblock prints visit:

Copyright 2006: Simply Haiku