Steve Edwards – etched lino prints

My friend Steve Edwards has been making etching lino prints for a number of years. By applying caustic paste to the linoleum with brushes, cotton buds and other tools he is able to create a wide range of textures and marks. When I visited East London Printmakers studio yesterday he was working on some new blocks. These are in the early stages – Steve likes to build up several layers of colour to make prints which are texturally rich and cleverly convey light, movement and depth.

Steve Edwards at East London Printmakers
Steve’s freshly inked up etched lino blocks

As you can see, the surface of the lino is not etched particularly deeply, just enough not to pick up the ink from the roller. As with any etching process there is an element of the unknown – Steve never knows exactly how it’s going to turn out until he inks up the block and pulls the first print. He also combines the etched marks with carving the block to create areas with a more solid, architectural look.

Below are some photos of the prints from the blocks above. There is a really beautiful grainy texture which is reminiscent of lithography or grainy old black and white films. (Click the images to see a larger version).

I’m planning to get Steve down to Margate later this year to teach a workshop at my studio so let me know if you’re interested. I have never used this technique myself, so I can’t wait to see how it’s done properly. Below are a few of Steve’s larger works in colour. You can see many of these at Greenwich Printmakers where Steve is featured artist of the month. He will also be showing two large portrait lino prints next month in Linoleum: The Cutting Edge at HemingwayArt in Oxfordshire, an exhibition I have curated.

Waterloo Night – West
Blackfriars – west