Linocut and Block Printing Tips Beyond the Absolute Basics

I’ve been keeping notecards with tips I come across, from various places and resources or from my own experiments. In time I’ll try to cite the resources and build a nice little helpful page here with links and such, but for now – simply my notes.

*Linoleum hardens over time. Newer/fresher linoleum is easier to cut.

*Warming up linoleum before cutting also makes it easier to cut. (Ex: heating pad + large book + sit on top a while)

*Effective image transfer to lino block – carbon/graphite sheet + trace image w/ ballpoint pen.

*Rolled ink sounds rather like velcro when ready/rolled to proper consistency.

* Color or tint linoleum when carving (use permanent marker/ ink pads/ etc.) for clarity

*Prevent fingerprints from ink by keeping bowl of baby powder to dip fingertips in if ink gets on them (so you don’t have to constantly stop + wash hands)

*Use super glue to repair “mistakes” when cutting. Can also use hot glue to add/repair lost or damaged lines

*For the most minor imperfections in a newly made print – use a rubber pointed tool to blot the ink a bit to cover spots (too much of this or done too late will be apparent in the texture/surface of dried print)

*Use sheet of wax paper or a transparency sheet between paper and spoon when printing to make surface more slippery

*When hand-printing (with a spoon or brayer and not a press, etc.) use lighter weight papers to ensure all details and surfaces transfer well without over-inking.

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