Thursday, 5 February 2015

lino cutting at Omega Print Makers

Sketch up of an idea for a really simple lino cut. The two or three I have made before have all been mono-colour so I thought I'd experiment with introducing colours this time.
Once the design was complete I traced it onto tracing paper to reverse it and then used a piece of good old fashioned blue ===== paper to transfer the design onto a rectangle of lino.

Once this was done I used the smallest lino-cutting blade to channel out an outline. To my surprise the lino was actually quite crumbly unlike the synthetic lino 'lookalike' that I had used for the other prints that I have done.

Mary Stephens suggested using the straight blade to make the initial cut and although this does slow down the process it makes things far more accurate and crisp. I found I had to surrender to the slowness of the process and just not try to hurry became quite meditative and enjoyable.

 A wide blade was then used to lift off the lino that didn't need to be included in the colouring. I'd decided to make the whole of the background colour yellow.
To finish off the design I made a monogram to the side.

I made a register for the plate and marked it with a T for 'top' and put a simple cross in one corner.

Very exciting I was to use the big old Albion Press.

I mixed up the oily inks white and yellow using the brayer to get an even consistency. In oder to create a yellow colour across the whole of the print I inked up a clean and uncut piece of lino identical in size to the one I had cut the design onto.

The Albion Press has a horizontal bed that sits under the press mechanism when It's not in use. This is moved forward by turning the handle to the side. 

 A hinged cover is raised to reveal the bed. The template or register is laid on the bed and the lino on top of it..placed carefully so as the make the following prints line up. A clean piece of printing paper was placed on top of the inked lino.Two or in this case three layers of padding were then placed on top of the paper and the hinged cover was lowered. The large side handled was rotated in the direction of travel of the bed until the whole profile of the bed was clear and the edge could be seen out the other side. The beautifully patinated and rather stained by use handle that goes across the front of the press and forces it downwards is pulled...then released. Once more the side handle is turned and the bed reappears.

I know it's only a simple rectangle of yellow ink but it was wonderful to see it so crisp and clean.
The paper is vertical and the inked lino is lying on the bed.

The inked lino.

 There are now five sheets of perfect paper each with a yellow rectangle of ink, waiting for me on the drying rack to transform into prints of my design next week. I love this printing business!!

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