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How to lino print at home

Hello again! I wanted to share with you what I have been up to recently. I have a couple craft markets coming up (see previous blog post) so I have been actively getting as much stock together as possible. This means I have been non-stop lino printing and I thought you would like to see my process.

First I start with the design. There is a very different process to designing for lino print compared to designing for normal illustration. The main reason is because you have to think in layers and with limited colours in mind. I usually design simple lino prints with one layer (one colour) or two layers (two colours). I have designed a range of lino printed Christmas cards this year and I am really looking forward to you seeing them on Friday for my Etsy launch!

Once the lino print has been designed, I move on to carving. I have wooden tools that come in a variety of sizes. The smaller tools are great for detail and line work where as the larger tools are good for large areas of blank space. I use the pfeil swiss made lino tools. I usually buy rubber lino rather than the traditional lino material. There are pros and cons to both materials - the traditional lino is long lasting, has a hessian back so you can't make holes in it but it is very tough where as the rubber lino is very easy to carve and flexible but I do usually make holes in it by accident!

The next bit - printing! This is the part that I am still trying to perfect in my home studio as I used to do all my printing in a print studio. The first step is to roll out the ink with a roller on a glass worktop. I bought a glass worktop protector from the kitchen section of the supermarket and it was such a good idea! They are very cheap and are available everywhere. Mine has a subtle pattern on it which is good to see how thick or thin the ink has been rolled out. I use the essdee blue soft lino roller, the 10cm size. The ink I chose is the caligo safe wash relief ink. I chose these inks because they have a range of colours, good reviews and they aren't oil based. This means you can clean up with sunflower oil and washing up liquid rather than chemicals - perfect for a home studio! Once the ink has been rolled onto the lino, its now time to use my pride and joy, my printing press! I received my press as a graduation present and I would recommend them to anyone. The printing press was made by an etsy seller called 'woodzilla' who makes presses in different sizes and colours. It has really helped get that professional finish to a lino print. So that's it! That's how I create my lino prints from my little home studio. I hope you have some recommendations if you want to create your own mini printing home studio.

- Meg


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