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Sunday, 13 January 2013


I made quite a few xmas cards this year. I went on a lino-cut day course to get my skills updated and my ideas sharpened up. I had done some lino-cut stuff at school and remembered the basics. Before I went, I treated myself to some of the kit.
As you can see here I have some printing paints. Just the gold and green are shown here but I had blue and red as well. Also a small roller and a cutting tool. There are a selection of cutting blades which can be fixed to the handle and the parts also join together to make the baren for rubbing over the lino to press the printing ink onto the paper. I had some special vinyl and some old lino. Old lino is fine if it is warmed on the radiator first to soften it.
You start by choosing a picture or design. I chose a photo of Brusselton Hill with a cover of snow(bottom left). That was traced onto tracing paper and then the back of the tracing was coloured over with a soft pencil( bottom right). The tracing is then placed on a piece of lino and drawn over with a sharp pencil. This should leave an outline of the design on the lino which you can go over with pen or pencil to tidy it up.
Then you cut out the design using a cutting tool(top left). You have to cut away the parts that are to be white. It is wise to cut away from yourself and your fingertips! Then do a test print in case you want  to tidy anything up(top right).
Then you choose the colours you want to use and squirt them onto a sheet of glass ( I got the glass from an old frame and masking taped the edges for safety). Then roller them out till they are velvety. In this instance I have chosen two colours and it makes it a little more difficult because you can only roller in one direction or you mix up the colours too much. Rolling in all directions does help to make the paint/ink smoother.
Then roller the ink onto the lino. The idea is to get a thin but complete covering on the lino. Again, if there is only one colour you can roll in all directions to even it out better.
I managed to keep the green to the top half and the lighter gold to the bottom half, but only for the first print. The next couple of prints show the colours getting more and more blended together.
Then turn it inkside down onto the paper. If you are doing cards, this is when you find out if it is printed the right way up and if any writing is the right way or mirrored!
You rub it all over the back with the baren, pressing firmly and evenly, specially at the edges. You can peel it back a bit for a peep but take care not to move it.
It should come out a bit like this.
The inks I bought washed up in warm water and as soon as I had finished a batch I washed the glass. roller and everything else in a warm soapy sink of water.
The prints take a while to dry and readily stick together if you haven't waited long enough before stacking them up!
I shall do some more when the urge takes me. It can be done at home in the kitchen and the gear is all readily available on line at a reasonable cost.
But Art classes start again on Wednesday so I shall swap the print making for the acrylics and pack my basket for Darlington.
Cheers Gillian


carol said...

That looks fun - and very effective. I made some lino-cut cards once many moons ago but nothing as ambitious as yours. they looked extremely clumsy, more like potato cuts!

love those cupcakes said...

Your cards are fab. I don't have a very good track record with sharp cutting implements. Or naked flames.