Lino block experiments

Relief printing is a process where a raised surface has ink applied to it so the image can be transferred to paper. To create the raised image, sharp tools called gouges remove areas of the surface material which in this case is lino and what remains will be what is printed.

Pressure is applied when transferring the image from the lino to the paper. One method is with a letterpress. However, if no ink is used but pressure is still applied, an image will still result and this is generally called a blind letterpress print.

For this particular project, I used ink for most of the print but I also wanted something more subtle in there too so decided not to use ink for the ‘tea cup’ in this piece. I used an older lino with a floral design and used a thicker paper to act as a ‘mask’ which would protect the rest of the areas I didn’t want affected.

I was quite happy with the result but found it still needed a little more detail. Since my key block had already been carved (this is the lino with all the outlines) and I didn’t want to add any other blocks for colour, I carved a few smaller lino blocks of ‘water droplets’ and a whale! I marked the correct position for them on a separate piece of clear plastic to aid registration as they were going to be part of a small edition of only four. Not my usual method of printing on paper but I was keen to see if it would work and of course if you don’t try you’ll never know!

Happily, it was just what I felt my ‘Storm in a tea cup’ needed!

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