Friday Furrow 4: NEW "Cold Cuts" Collection Part2 - Carve, Print & Present!

Fi Douglas

Friday, May 08, 2015

If you haven't already (what? I can't believe that), have a look at the Part 1 of this Furrow which covers the design and transfer of one of my 'Cold Cut' designs (duck).

For Part 2 I'll bang on about the cutting and actual printmaking process because this week I have been mainly focused on getting all the cold cuts out this week.. I'm pretty keen that I expand my Etsy Shop and my repertoire so I've been drawing and transferring and cutting and printing and photographing the designs ready to include asap.  In fact I'm trying to organise it all now so this could be a Friday-night-Saturday-morning-Furrow by the time I've finished... :(

Anyway. Last week I wrote about how once I'd settled on a design I drew it onto the lino.  So now.. pick up your cutting tool. my friend:

1) There are YouTube video tutorials on linocutting.. I did a little research for this to see if I could find a decent one but quite honestly I got bored after two terrible ones... but you might be luckier.. I instead recommend my fave book on the subject Learning Linocut: A Comprehensive Guide to the Art of Relief Printing Through Linocut

2) I can't stress enough how much of a difference good tools make and I talk about my fave cutting tool (Jemima Cuttycut) in my first ever blog post  As for the actual Linoleum, well there seems to be a thing with 'serious' linocutters that they must suffer for their art by using tough old-fashioned hessian backed stuff that has to be 'warmed up' to be cuttable.  I don't like suffering so I use the soft stuff 

3) So practice on a spare piece of lino - practice all types of mark making, speed, pressure and how to control size of the cut. and then go for it.  And remember not to cut the line you've drawn but around it because the line you've drawn will be in 'relief' and will take the ink that will transfer to the paper.

4) The ink to use is Caligo Safe Wash Relief ink  and there's a good selection of rollers (or brayers) at

Squeeze a little ink into an inking tray and work it back and forth with the roller until the roller is covered and the ink is making a sticky noise.  

5) The ink should go onto the lino in thinnish layers.  Just lightly roll the ink over the surface until its covered the relief areas evenly.

6) Wash your hands make sure the ink is out of the way before you start grappling with the paper.  There is lots of different types of printmaking paper, its quite expensive so get confident with anything you have handy before you attempt to use the good stuff.  Line it up carefully, smooth it onto the lino and then work the ink into paper by gently  but firmly rubbing the back of the paper with the back of a spoon or paper folder.

7) When you're happy that worked it well, peel the paper off the lino carefully and there you go.  It'll probably look rubbish.  So do it again. And again till it's right.