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Blue Bar Linocut Workshop, Sept 2022

Well what a fab day we had last week. Seven quite fabulous women making prints, chatting away and having a great lunch sat in the sunshine watching the waves.

This is a summary of the day and I will pop links for resources at the end.

What did we learn?

  • In and outs of cutting, which bits to remove and how much to leave.

  • Types of paper and how they print differently.

  • Mixing ink using extender or white.

  • Cleaning the equipment and blocks.

First we made some small stamps to get our heads into the cutting process. Before using any inks I offer a barrier cream. We used stamp pads to print the small blocks and found out that StazOn stamp pads do just that!

When we begin cutting, the room often becomes silent as people concentrate on their blocks. Always cut away from your body and other hand! I do have some plasters with me and we have only needed them once.

Colour! I took all the process (primary) colurs from the Caligo Safewash inks. Plus black, white and extender which is clear ink. This selection means that you can pretty much mix any colour. White makes colours paler and extender makes it more translucent. The purple above is red and blue with some extender.

There are several ways to get more than one colour on a print. You can see a yellow and blue colour roll above and where the colours cross you can see green.

You can make a print with two blocks and jigsaw them together, I don't often do that but here is Holly from Handprinted showing you how JIGSAW VIDEO

You can make one print from several plates, here is my business card print. One plate is the green and then the other the pink. You can see the orange where both inks mix. You need to register the plates so that they line up.

My favourite method is a reduction print where you begin with the palest colour. Each time you print you cut away the areas that you want to stay that colour and reprint in a darker ink. I LOVE this method.

I always take a selection of differents weights of papers and people are often surprised at how they vary in terms of effort to print, and the look of the finished article. Brown paper, yep plain old wrapping paper, usually scores quite highly. Prints in pastel colours work well on this and also on Kraft paper notebooks and boxes.

Above the same print, in two colours and our workshop space in the Board Room.

Cleaning up sounds a bit tedious and isn't much fun but it really is an essential skill. We used Baby Oil (you can also use vegetable oil) to clean our blocks and then I finished them off with Zest It. You don't need to use any water at all. If you do clean a piece of traditional lino with water you risk the plate warping as the hessian dries.

Cleaned blocks, ready to wrap and take home.

The happy customers with their favourite prints


What do you need to begin printing? Absolute Basics

At the time of writing all my future workshops are fully booked. If you'd like to be kept up to date on the next sessions, please let me know.

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