For my birthday this year NM bought me a linocutting starter kit from Linocut boy on etsy. It was such a great gift and I love how it was all packaged and presented. Sadly it sat on my shelf for a few months before I found time to have a play around, but last week I finally got the chance.
I have done screen printing before at art college and couple of years ago I did a letterpress course which I loved so I was really excited about learning a new printing technique.
The box included everything I needed to get started. A roller, a beautiful set of carving tools, some small pieces of lino (which are easy to buy more of when you run out) black ink (am excited to experiment with other colour later on but black was all i needed to get started).
If you decide to give lino printing a go, my top tip to you would be make sure you have some plasters handy. Haha. It wasn't too bad but i did cut myself once - am hoping as my technique improves that will happen less often.
So I started off pretty simple and inspired by autumn drew some simple leaf shapes. The smaller one on the left above worked much better for printing than the one on the right. I also had an old stamp handle so I stuck it onto that since it was so small and I found it easier to stamp it rather than lay the paper on top of it (which is what you do for larger prints). I really like how the pattern came out below. I actually used an ink stamp I had in a green colour rather than the black ink. It is pretty rough and basic but it was an encouraging start. I would really like to make some more patterns like this incorporating different shapes and colours.
I then experimented with the black ink on different scraps of coloured paper I had lying around. For some reason the black ink didn't seem to stamp as well for me, but I think I just need to keep experimenting to see what works best and also making sure that I roll the ink on smoothly. I think often I want to see amazing and perfect results straight away and forget that I actually need to practise and take time to learn a new skill. Patience does not come naturally to me! Ha.
I started sketching out and carving a new design for a greeting card (below). I am not sure how it will turn out but I will keep experimenting and let you know how I get on.
I don't think linocut boy is selling these started kits at the moment but if he ever does again I can't recommend them highly enough - such a good place to start. (Check out his shop anyway though because he obviously has skills when it comes to linocutting and it gives me inspiration for something to work towards).
You can buy linocutting kits all over the place so if you are keen to have a go just google and see what you can find.