I love printmaking. I’m very excited to spend my Sunday working on some special lino cut projects for a good friend of mine. I hope that she doesn’t mind me sharing this preview with you. I just couldn’t help myself! I’m so excited with how things are turning out.
Here is a mash-up of old and new lino cut projects. Some very talented crafty ladies made the pink, blue, and yellow cards. The print of the dresses was made for a good friend who owns a cute little boutique in Regina, Saskatchewan called Stella and Sway. The sparrow is a work in progress/sneak peak of my current project.
Lino Cutting Tools and Materials:
All the tools I use are Speedball. Speedball is the king of printmaking products.
- Printers blocks. I use Speedball unmounted linoleum.
- Block inks. It’s best to use proper printing inks. If using acrylic paint you will have to add a retarder so it doesn’t try out too quickly.
- Soft rubber roller
- A set of carving tools. Speedball has a cutter and blades set you can purchase that comes with 5 different blades.
- It is also useful to have carbon paper to transfer your image to your printers block, paper, pens, a spoon, and a pair of scissors.
Some Quick Tips:
- Be careful with your printers blocks. Keep them protected when not in use. You don’t want to get accidental nicks and cuts on the surface.
- Printmaking is messy, make sure you have newspaper to cover your workspace.
- Buy more printer blocks than you need. You may need to practice a bit to get the hang of carving.
- Don’t forget the areas that you cut away are the areas that will NOT be printed.
- Any letters or numbers that you carve need to be written BACKWARDS. The design you create will print in reverse.
Quick and Dirty Instructions
- Choose a design. Draw this freehand on your printers block or use carbon paper to transfer the image. Remember the image will print in reverse.
- Use the carving tools to create your stamp. Always move the blade away from your body. Don’t put your hand in front of the blade. Remember the areas you cut away will not be printed.
- Ink your printers block with a soft rubber roller. Ensure you have a very thin and even layer of ink on the roller. Gently roll the ink onto the surface of your stamp until it is thinly and evenly distributed.
- Carefully place your stamp face down on your paper/card/poster/etc. Make sure that the stamp does not move from this position. Keep it firmly in place with one hand and use your other hand to roll hard across the back of the stamp to transfer the ink onto the paper. I often use a spoon to help apply pressure to the back of the stamp.
- Once you have rolled over the back of the stamp several times, carefully remove the stamp from the paper. If the printed image has blurry or bleeding edges you had too much ink on the stamp. If there are spots missing on your print it means that you didn’t roll hard enough over that area or there was not enough ink on your stamp. Personally, I like imperfections – so don’t worry about bleeds or spots too much.