Over the course of the last 3 months, Covid 19, the epidemic that has had the world facing their own quarantine in their home has made a lot of restless people. Thankfully some have found it a golden opportunity to take on creative projects they might otherwise not had the chance to. Others are seeing it as the moment to reconnect to their creative side and pull out their pencils and pads.
Stumbling across an Instagram video posting by lino cut printmaker, William West Seegmiller, I realized the benefits of taking up the beveling tools and strips of old kitchen lino and seeing what an afternoon at the kitchen table could offer me. Turns out quite a bit indeed.
Here’s 4 reasons to take up Lino printing in your self-isolating home.
1. Easy and cheap.
The first thing you will realize about Lino printing is how affordable the materials are and how quick it is to make something passable as a decent image.
Buying a kit of 3 scooping beveling chisels, a decent pad of artists’ paper and some printers ink will set you back 25 pounds. The largest brunt of this cost is the ink which as 500 ml of oil based opaque black, you can expect to still be using this for years to come. All these items are available from Intaglio Printmaker, London online shop. The lino can also be bought as set workable sizes but the great thing is- that old roll of kitchen flooring you have in the shed, works just as well!
2. High Yield prints
After getting the hang of scooping out bits of lino to form lines and shapes, the other side of inking and printing can seem a little daunting at first with all the mess it can possibly make and the delicate care needed for placing the paper correctly on the lino plate.
But once you follow the simple steps mentioned in Seegmiller’s video, you realize that you are simply making potato prints like you did in playschool. Having that sense of ‘play’ and assurance to the process, the yield a large amount of prints in a short space of time. Indeed, after 3 hours (the equivalent to one LOTR movie) I had 25 small prints that were decent enough to frame and display on my walls at home.
3. Highly creativity
Owing to its simplicity, there is a sort of crudeness to the style of work you can make. Rather than this being a disadvantage however, it’s a perfect example of where restrictions encourage a curious exploration of what is possible. Look how to make various marks through use of different kitchen tools and objects found in the shed. You are simply looking to take out material from a sheet of lino, the rest is up to your imagination.
4. Experimental ownership
Part of the joy of lino printing is owing to its simplicity, you can explore not only the mark making on the lino but also experiment on what to print onto. A new line of fabric prints across Instagram have featured actual lino cut prints directly onto a T Shirt. If it can take a print- try it!
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