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Starting out, Lockdown printing

Linocutting is a fairly economical past time (unless you start collecting beautiful Japanese handmade papers and stashing them because they're too gorgeous to use. No idea who does that...!)

I began with a slab of battleship grey lino, a set of five Japanese wood cutting tools which were under a tenner, and a tube of black Caligo Safewash and a roller. I printed on printer paper to begin with. Then my most marvellous sister Kate (a very accomplished artist ) sent me a selection of papers to play with.

I found that as I print by hand, thinner more delicate papers were easier to use. These work very well with single colour prints.

Ones to look out for are Shoji, Hosho and Masa.

And that was it, I just cut lino and printed, all for the learning curve really. I treated myself to a general printing course at Kiwi Print Studio near Camborne. Dena was a fabulous teacher and showed us many types of printing including screen, intaglio and collagraph. But lino was by far my favourite.

During the first lockdown I had a lot of time on my hands. Time to really immerse myself in my new hobby. I had time to think about ideas, draw them, change them, print them and change them again and re-print. I absolutely loved it. Totally in a creative groove.

I posted about my prints on Facebook and a friend asked to buy a print. I was a bit shocked to be honest. I remember walking up to the Post Office with this packaged print thinking the Police were going to stop me for a non-essential journey!

The print was posted, I wasn't arrested, and I carried on printing.

Then a friend asked if I did comissions, which I hadn't but I said I'd have a go. She comissioned three prints of Smeatons Tower in Plymouth with some memorable dates on it.

I bought some blue ink and hand colured the red stripes with watercolours.

That was it, I was hooked!


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