You may remember, I discovered linocut printmaking on Etsy a couple months ago and felt an instant pull to try my hand at it. What do I love about linocut? How to explain…
It’s physical. As in sore shoulders from keeping even pressure and a precise trajectory on the cutter. Physical, as in nicked fingers and thumbs when you’re first testing the limits of the cutter. Physical, as in aching neck from hunching over your projects. Hours pass.
It’s involved, a multi-step process. Drawing or designing your art, either directly onto the tile or in photoshop. Transferring the mirror image of your design onto the tile using graphite paper. Carving. Inking. Printing. Printing again.
Copies! You can print more than one.
Inking. As you can see in the pictures, it’s best to roll the ink out onto a nonporous surface. My glass Ikea table works nicely. It’s like being a kid again and painting on the furniture, only this time it’s allowed. Because it washed right off.
It has texture. I’m no artist, haven’t taken an art class since middle school, so I don’t have the right terminology to describe what I love about the look and feel of linocut. But texture comes to mind. The ink reveals the topography of the artist’s process. It’s no coincidence, I’m sure, that birds, nature and landscapes are popular motifs in linocut. The carving tools allow the natural textures and angles to shine through.
Dig into it. There’s something cathartic about eliminating negative space. Digging into the soft linoleum, cutting it away. It’s a picker’s dream.
Have you tried your hand at linocut before? Or another kind of printmaking? I’m enthralled by the entire genre. This video was a major source of inspiration. This one, too, in case you’re in a video-watching mood today.