Letterpress · lino

Lino Printing using a Platen Press

I thought I would babble on a bit about lino carving and a window into the process I use at Ellie Press for printing lino art prints and other stationery goods.

First the sketch! I use a soft pencil to draw the image I want to carve out of the linoleum. At this stage I can rub it out and amend it to my hearts content until I am happy with the final artwork. You can draw freehand or transfer the image to the lino from your own original artwork using tracing paper. Some people use a sharpie so that you don’t smudge lines out or to make it clearer for cutting but I like the pencil…

Once I am happy (I normally find walking away and leaving it helps to give fresh perspective at this stage!), I start carving and cutting out the larger areas. I cut around my lino to ensure there are no inky marks transferred onto the card stock when printed. However, some artists use these areas and leave them in to add interest to the background.

Lino ready for printing

You can then use a brayer to hand roller your lino and place the cardstock on top to lift the print. I have heard using the back of a spoon does a great job but I haven’t tried this technique myself! I mount the lino type high using some pieces of thick board and a piece of wood. Once mounted the lino is run on my vintage platen press with a ‘kiss’ print (i.e. I don’t try to leave any impression due to the area and softness of the lino).

The final result…


Please visit my shop to see more items which have been printed using lino and also letterpress items using polymers.



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