Linoleum Prints

MAY 26, 2016

In this project, we carved an image into a block of linoleum, and then we used this to print images. Our final goal was to have four pieces—a solid print, a multicolored print, a hand-manipulated print, and a print on an unusual background (basically anything but white paper). However, if we wished to do so, we were allowed to hand-manipulate all of them.

The first thing that I did was choose an image to base my image off of. I chose to use a picture from the Body World exhibition, which I had gone to a few months prior. I think had that printed out (in black and white and with high contrast) and I traced the major sections on the piece of paper. Once this was done, I pressed the image against a block of linoleum—face down—and scribbled across the back of the paper in order to transfer the lines onto the block. This left me with a light outline of the image on the linoleum block, and I used this as a starting point. From there, I carved out the sections which I wanted to remain white on the paper, and once that I was done, I began to print. In order to print, I had to roll the ink out on a piece of glass (using a brayer) and then once the ink was making a sort of sticky, popping noise, I rolled the brayer out over my stamp. Once I had done that, I put the stamp under a hand press (face up), put the paper on top of the stamp, and pressed until I thought that it was done. For the rest of the pieces, I did the same—my goal was to not have any out of place white spots. Once I had four prints which I was relatively pleased with, I went in with oil-based Sharpie markers and added designs.

I am actually relatively pleased with how these turned out. I was originally hesitant to begin this project because I was unfamiliar with the process, but in the end I liked doing it. I think that I did a good job carving out the linoleum and adding clear divisions between the "black" and white of the piece, and also that my lines remained relatively true to the original image. My favorite part of this process, however, was probably adding the designs by hand—not only do I love to use the oil-based Sharpies, but I much prefer drawing as opposed to making prints. All in all, thought, I think that the project was a success, and I am pleased with what I created.