It’s truly a gem that’s been with us for over a year now, but its charm remains as fresh as ever, especially during Print and Ink Month. In our store, you’ll find an authentic printing/etching press that adds a unique touch to our creative space. This is all thanks to our ongoing collaboration with Sulette van der Merwe, a seasoned artist and printmaker who usually graces our workshop space on Mondays, producing her exceptional lino prints with this remarkable press. If you are lucky you could catch a glimpse of the magic unfolding and be inspired by the artistry on display!

Sulette and her art student Megan creating lino prints at The Deckle Edge

Lino printing has gained popularity for its accessible and rewarding nature. It offers a creative outlet that doesn’t require extensive training or expensive equipment, making it appealing to both beginners and experienced artists. To get started, consider these tips:

Step 1: Choose the Right Tools: Invest in quality linoleum blocks and linocutting tools. A variety of block sizes and types are available, so select the one that suits your project.

Step 2: Design with Simplicity: Start with simple designs to get a feel for the medium. As you gain confidence, you can experiment with more complex patterns and details.
Step 3: Safety First: Linocutting tools can be sharp, so be cautious when handling them. Always cut away from your body and use a bench hook or safety guard for stability.

Step 4: Sketch Your Design: Before carving, sketch your design directly onto the linoleum block or transfer it using tracing paper. This helps ensure accuracy.

Step 5: Start Carving: Begin by carving away the areas you want to remain white on your print. Take your time and make deliberate, controlled cuts.
Step 6: Experiment with Textures: Vary your carving techniques to create different textures and effects in your prints. Try cross-hatching, stippling, or contour carving.
Step 7: Ink Application: Apply ink evenly to the carved surface using a roller (brayer). Ensure complete coverage without over-inking, as excess ink can lead to messy prints.

Step 8: Test Printing: Before printing on your final paper or fabric, do test prints on scrap materials to fine-tune your technique and ink consistency.
Step 9: Printing Surface: Place your block on a stable surface, lay your paper or fabric on top, and gently press. You can use a spoon, baren, or a printing press to apply even pressure.
Experiment and Have Fun: Lino printing is all about experimentation. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; they often lead to unexpected and beautiful results.
Editions: If you want multiple copies of your print, consider making an edition. Number and sign each print in the series.
Step 10: Clean Your Tools: Properly clean your linocutting tools and store them safely to ensure they last and remain sharp.
Step 11: Expand Your Palette: Once you’re comfortable with monochrome prints, experiment with color by using multiple blocks or hand coloring your prints.
Step 12: Learn from Others: Seek inspiration and guidance from books, online tutorials, or local printmaking workshops.
Step 13: Share Your Work: Don’t forget to share your creations with others. Whether it’s framing your prints or creating custom cards, lino printing offers endless possibilities for sharing your art.

With these tips and a willingness to experiment, you’ll be well on your way to creating beautiful lino prints and enjoying the popular and fulfilling world of lino printing.

As we wrap up this lino printing journey, it’s worth noting that this traditional art form continues to play a significant role in school art education, particularly in high school art subjects. With its accessibility and potential for creative expression, lino printing offers students a hands-on experience that fosters artistic skills and imaginative thinking.

For educators, students, and artists of all levels, The Deckle Edge stands as your one-stop destination for all things related to lino block printing. We provide a wide range of supplies, from linoleum blocks and carving tools to a spectrum of inks and quality printing papers.

Whether you’re a teacher looking to stock up for your classroom or a student embarking on a printing adventure, we’re here to support your lino printing endeavors. So, unleash your creativity and explore this timeless art form with us – your trusted partner in artistic expression.

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