Tuesday, 26 June 2012

When I say 'lino cut' I really mean 'rubber cut'

In high school they had awesome printing presses so that I could roll through my lino cuts with nice paper and get this lovely almost embossed appearance on my prints.

Not so now.
In fact using lino is very difficult when you don't have a press and nice sharp tools.

So when I discovered rubber blocks it took me about as long as it takes to get it out of the packaging to convert me.
Rubber blocks are like lino blocks only obviously made of rubber, the thickness of them, and lack of binding fabric on one side means that both sides can be used to carve designs.
Rubber is also much easier to cut, as my son discovered when he hacked away at a print I had recently completed cutting, but not yet printed. (DISASTER) Its so easy you can cut the stuff with your fingernails.

Transferring your image to the block to be cut out is as simple as drawing it in pencil, and rubbing the paper onto the block. Its rubber so the pencil sticks to it and you can just cut out around it. This is helpful when you want to write things but don't always get the mirror image thing right. So easy!

This is the original design that I worked from today. I don't know why I thought that all that detail was going to be a good idea... 

They print easier too, kind of like giant stamps (or normal stamps if you cut them smaller)

This block is about A5 in size. Easily manageable and easily printed.

I printed this birdie, and the horse below using a stamp pad, just to make sure that everything was cut out where I wanted it be, and to the depth that it needed to be, so that the print was clean. 

And that, ladies and gents, is why I use ezy carve (its the name of the renoir brand ones that I buy) rather than lino. Maybe one day when I can get a nice printing press, I will get back to lino, but at this point, I think the rubber blocks suit me MUCH better.