Thought I would share a tutorial about how to create a block or relief print. There are many different printmaking processes. Lino or wood block printing falls under the catergory of relief. Basically anything carved away from below the surface of the block won't print. My days of being a printmaking student at university are far behind me. This is my very first attempt to print without a press. And it is easy.
1. first you need all the equipment. I have chosen speedball products. Waterbased inks are ideal for home use (although I miss the smell of oil based inks).
- inks..start with one colour...buy more as you need.
- card or watercolour paper is ideal, but experiment on recylcled paper.
- small sheet of glass. I have used glass from an old photo frame
- Printing block. The speedball product is far easier to use than the old linoleum. But if you do use the brown lino, I recommend to heat it slightly so you can carve into it with ease.
- Cutting tools. Try being experimental and look for interesting tools around the home. I have had an old set of denistry tools for over 15 years and they work wonders for both relief and intaglio printing.
- A Brayer...or commonly known as the roller.
- Kitchen spoon
2. start by cutting your image. Draw or transfer an image directly onto the block. Carve away what you don't want to see. Make sure you clean away any residue before printing or you will end up with furry bits.
3. basic registration makes life easier. On a piece of paper, draw the size of the paper you are going to print on. Then place the block in the centre or where ever suits and draw around this with a pencil. This will give you a position for the block and an outline to see where you place the paper for each print you make.
4. On the glass (which is wider than the width of the brayer), squeeze out a small amout of ink across the top of the glass and also slightly wider than the brayer.
5. roll out the ink, making sure that you get an even coverage across your brayers surface. as you are rolling down, lift the brayer up and let it spin and then place it down again...this avoids one side of the brayer being covered in more ink than another.
6. ink your block. Knowing how much to have on sometimes takes pracitce. You'll know when you pull your first print.
7. Place your block onto the registration sheet. Avoid any dirty fingers at this stage.
8. Place your already prepared printing paper over the block and align it to the registration marks.
9. with the back of a kitchen spoon, carefully and evenly apply enough pressure to the paper and rub across the back until the print has been made.
10. Pull it back...that is it. Simple.