On Saturday I ran a linocut workshop at Hello Print Studio in Margate, the studio I set up last year. I am very lucky to have such a beautiful studio and I love sharing it with other people (once you have done a workshop you can come back and hire it on Wednesdays). I keep numbers small – 8 or fewer students – so everyone has plenty of space to work in.
When I run a linocut workshop I always start off by demonstrating the different cutting tools and then getting my students to carve a test block, making as many different kinds of marks in the lino as possible. Often these turn out very nicely; not worrying about making an image results in fluid, interesting marks. Here is a test linocut block from the workshop:
Students learn how to print by hand and with a press. Printing linocuts by hand takes a little practice but is a useful skill for those who want to continue making linocuts at home. I use a wooden spoon and a Japanese baren to demonstrate this. You can get a range of textures by adjusting the pressure and amount of ink. It is also possible to get perfect, solid black prints if you burnish the paper long and hard enough.
We have several presses at Hello Print Studio which you can print lino on: an etching press, a proofing press, two book presses and an Adana 8-5. I use the etching press for most of my work but I like to show the book press in action as this is often the most affordable option for those starting out with linocut.
The rest of the day is spent designing and carving an A5 linocut. Usually we stick to black and white but this time we had a little extra time to add a background colour using another block. Below are some of the prints from the workshop (click to see a bigger image)