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Big Steam Print event – Biggest linocut ever!

I’m working on my biggest linocut ever for the Big Steam Print event in Brighton on 22nd May. Big Steam Print is a project organised by Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft and I was invited to take part alongside such linocut nobility as Angie Lewin, Rob Ryan and Jonny Hannah. Selected artists were invited to make a linocut of at least 1 metre square, to be printed with a steam roller. There are several events, taking place over the south of England. See the line-up here.

I have been wanting to make a huge linocut for a while so when I was invited to take part I jumped at the chance. The piece of lino I’m working on measures 6ft by 3ft and features a whale design which I started working on a few years ago. Below are some images of my working process. There are a few more hours of carving to do, so hopefully I will be ready in time. I have bought a big roll of Japanese paper from Shepherds in London to make some proof prints by hand. Just in case it gets squashed!

whale drawing and linocut

The original drawing (top) was scaled up using a grid system and transferred to the lino block in reverse.

adding texture

Chinese ink was brushed on with a small mop to create background texture.

whale lino print

This gives you an idea of the scale.

whale tail linocut

Detail of the textures on the whale’s tail.

linocut detail

A shoal of ‘fish’.

linocut tools

I got to use these large woodcarving tools for the first time. I bought them in a market in London years ago.

linocut carving

Carving the water textures is painstaking work.

linocut and saw

Using a wood saw to add scratch marks to the whale’s skin.

Whale linocut for Big Steam Print event

The whale inked up to show the carved textures. Almost finished!