So you want to create something truly amazing by hand carving your own designs and have no clue on where to begin. Trying a new technique can be very daunting.
Maybe you have fiddled around with potato prints and want to move on to something that lasts longer and is more durable, then cutting in linoleum is a great option. There is a jungle of information to go through out there. Not to mention realizing that it will most likely take forever to perfect a great print. Don´t let that stop you.
To get you started and point you in a direction we asked the skilled craftsmen in the community Linocut friends for some rookie advice, here is what they said.
Play around with circles, dashes, dots, and lines. Start with freestyle shapes and marks to see what happens.
If you are cutting text, remember to reverse the image onto the lino.
Use a non-slip carpet to place your lino on when cutting. You will save a lot of energy.
Always cut away from your hands. Hold the lino with your hands to the side or behind the direction you are cutting. It is easy to slip and give yourself a nasty injury.
Learn the textures that different gouges provide. Use a small drill to make marks. Laye a screw on its side and tap with a hammer. Make short sharp marks as opposed to long marks. Shallow versus deep.
Speedball inks/rollers will get you started. Use basic printmaking paper and experiment a lot.
Give it a light sanding with fine sandpaper before you start and it will print so much better.
If you can, spend your money on good rollers with a bit of give – softer Japanese ones or durathane are good.
Sharp tools give you more control and enable you to cut clean lines. Linoleum is made from natural material and over time dries out and becomes brittle. Fresh linoleum smells of linseed oil and is flexible.
Remember that inking up and printing are learned skills as valuable as cutting and take time to get right.
Have fun and ask questions.
It is lots of trial and error and a great way to learn. We hope that this was useful advice. If you would like to add any advice to our list, feel free to post a comment below.
Enjoy <3 //Stina