Sunday, 3 March 2013

Lino printing fun!

Lino Workshop

  Yesterday I went on a great one day Lino printing workshop at Alston Hall in Lancashire. It is a Lovely old building set in beautiful gardens a few miles from Preston.

Alston Hall and gardens
The workshop was tutored by Lindsey Long, Click Here to see some of her prints. I love lino and woodblock prints ,there is something about the clear definition of line and form that is so appealing. I have done a little copperplate etching in the dim and distant past  but that was long ago so really liked the idea of spending the whole day messing about with printing ink. Lindsey was lovely and after showing us the ropes let us go wild with the materials ( well as wild as you can safely get with a lino cutter :) )

The first plate we cut was something called 'soft cut' it as a sort of rubbery plate, more flexible and easier to cut than lino, I had come without any plans of what to do. I was surrounded by others who were far more prepared, having pre-prepared drawings and books. I decided to just see where the wind directed me...and as the sunshine was streaming in the huge windows a sun emerged from my softcut plate.

As a first attempt I was reasonably pleased. We used a water based ink called Caligo, it was reasonably mess free. I even lived dangerously and didn't wear rubber gloves :) The soft cut was very easy to carve and I think I went a bit mad with the lines, but as an experiment I learnt a lot. The Image was printed on a vertical cast iron press but we were taught how to use a wooden spoon to rub on the back of the print to get a image. This means it can be done relatively easily at home.

My next attempt was on lino. Lino is a bit tougher to carve, the red safety guards in the picture prevented cuts to fingers but I personally found them rather difficult to use. However I was much more pleased with Lino cut two....I thought the Lino had a much more positive cut and it was easy to get fine detail.
Carved Lino Plate

Finished Print

As I said these were just doodles, If I had time to plan the reverse image properly I think I could improve much more. Being a print the image is reversed and the relief areas don't hold any ink.
The workshop was loads of fun and I shall definitely be trying some more Lino cutting at home :)


  1. That looks like a lovely place for a class. Now I am jealous! Sun and cactus may be nice but there is nothing quite like where you live.

    1. Thank you Roberta, Really enjoyed looking at your blog, LOvE your work. So happy Mr Murphy has found such a good home in the sunshine :)

  2. Looked like you had fun, like both your designs, the dragonfly looks great, I look forward to seeing that incorporated into some future pieces. A book about Lino printing came the day and I remembered I had ordered it for your birthday but it took ages to come through, so I must drop that down to you x

    1. AwwwH thank you Swirly, I put up the klimt picture at the weekend, it looks fabulous.


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