Friday, April 13, 2007

Linoleum Cuts = Cute Letterpress

Over the last couple months, I've been working on linoleum cuts to print in letterpress class. I think everyone has their own method of carving linoleum blocks, but I found that linoleum blocks, while they can be carved by a fifth grader, should be carved with great caution and care. Everyone I've talked to seems to have nicked themselves in some way carving linoleum blocks. It's not the most precise way to get an image, but a lot cheaper than having a plate made. I've also found it fun and challenging to carve linoleum blocks. At least it keeps my hands agile. I'm not the most dexterous, and I've seen awesome linoleum cuts in class, but here are my linoleum cuts thus far. I have to say, they're pretty cute.

My first attempt was a bee (fans of Pooh will recognize this particular bee). I carved this three times before I got it right, and nicked myself more than once. It was my first time carving linoleum blocks! For those who like to know these sorts of things, the paper above is luxe frost from Paper Source.

Inspired by my cat Jezebel, I based this cut off of a block print I saw somewhere. This was printed the same day the bee was. This was my second successful linoleum cut. I have to say, I LOVE this linoleum cut way more than I did the bee. It has cleaner lines. It's printed on a white Fabriano card.

This is the most intricate linoleum cut I've carved yet. I wanted to do something Asian-inspired(actually I wanted to do a phoenix but that's way more intricate the koi I finally settled on). I saw this koi image somewhere and attempted to carve it, but my hands got tired by the time it got to the scales. I'm not sure if I want to redo this carving or not, as it took a really really long time, and this one looks pretty good, despite the mistakes on the koi on the right. This is orange ink printed on Arturo blue (same as the "Many Thanks" card...made in the same run).


Britta said...

i think your orange fish are great. that is all.

Earl Kallemeyn said...

Thank you for your posts about lino cuts. What is a reduction linoleum cut?

Gibbsy said...

ill comment on that one earl.. reduction lino cut is where u want one image with multiple colours but dont want to carve multiple linos..
personally i start with the lightest colour and just ink up a uncarved lino and print it.. now what you want that colour to be you carve away what its supposed to be.. then move onto the next darkest colour and print over that.. carving away wat u want to stay as those colours.. final image in many colours and one useless piece of lino

koren said...

WOW....gorgeous work...I want to see and know more.

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