Monday, 22 April 2013

linoleum block on the lino-o-scribe

Over the last couple of weeks I was able to try out my first linoleum carving with the lino-o-scribe. Before I started I was so afraid that it wasn't going to work for some reason. But I gathered up my materials anyway and hoped for the best. I got some really helpful hints from Kinga, who also owns a Morgan Line-O-Scribe, on which type of linoleum she uses and how to set it up in the bed so that it's about type-high.

My first step was to decide on the size of linoleum I wanted. That was the easy part. Because the press bed is 14x22", I wanted to go as big as I could. The largest block I could find at my local art supplies store was 12x18" which was perfect because I sourced some cardstock at the same size. 

Next was trying to figure out what design I wanted to see printed. But I also had to think about 1.) what I could easily carve out and 2.) something that wouldn't take me too long do. I decided on hand-drawing a series of narrow hexagon shapes with various widths of lines on the inside of each. This was a good first-time design because there was just enough carving that I didn't get tired of doing it and that I got to use a couple of the carving blades. All of the straight lines made the carving go nice and smoothly too! Also, there's a nice balance between the negative and positive space. I wanted to carve as little of the lino off to make the best use of it's size. By keeping the design large, I was also able to see if there were any problematic, low or weak spots with the press and ink rollers.

After finally getting the lino to the height that the ink rollers could make contact with it, I was ready to test the block out. I was happily surprised with the result but as expected, I had some more carving to do at the top and bottom edges of the negative space to have it completely free of an impression.

As you can see in the photos of the prints, there is some variation with the ink coverage. I actually don't mind that. This design would look very different if the colour was completely solid throughout.

All in all, I am very happy with my first experiment with the line-o-scribe and a lino block. The press is in fantastic condition as are the rollers. I see myself doing many more of these lino carvings!


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