Lino Printing Work Shop

Last week Megs wanted to do something new with her favourite local artist, Marelise, from Ubuso Studios.  So we did!

The Workshop

Marelise’s next workshop was on how to do Lino Printing at Studio Escape in Courtenay Street, George.  Megs was excited so we signed up and Mat tagged along.  The R150 fee per person gets you a lesson on lino printing and all the required materials and utensils used plus tea, coffee, and snacks.  It is a fun technique to learn for young and old.

They offered two slots for the workshop, which I thought was great.  We chose to book Tuesday morning at 10 am instead of the evening 6 pm class.

What is Lino Printing?

Lino printing or Block printing was first used by the artists of Die Brücke in Germany between 1905 and 1913, where it had been similarly used for wallpaper printing.  Linoleum is a floor covering that dates to the 1860s.

It is a printmaking technique which can be done by hand or with a press on paper or fabric.  You use a sharp knife (chisel) to cut out a design on a piece of linoleum and then cover it with ink so that the uncarved parts make a mirror image print of your design on the paper or fabric. The linoleum is inked with a roller, called a brayer.

What Did They Learn?

They were taught how to safely use a very sharp chisel to cut out their chosen design.  They had to understand the concept of mirror images and they worked carefully to transfer the inked lino design to paper without smudging it.

They were both very chuffed with their prints. Megs printed Archie the rabbit and Matt printed Jasper the cat.  The great thing is that the original lino design will last a long time and they can use it over and over with different colours of ink.

You can buy a starter kit online which includes everything you need, but you will most likely be frustrated and give up on lino printing completely within the first 10 minutes.  The reason is that the chisels in the starter kits are poor quality.  Rather go to a well-established art shop or supplier and ask about good quality chisels, rollers and pallet knives for lino cutting and printing.  Swiss and Japanese made chisels are the best quality.

Megs enjoyed the lino printing workshop and can’t wait to go again.  We are glad that they learned a new art technique as part of homeschooling.  On top of that, they both returned from the lesson with all fingers intact, both very happy, watered, fed and with beautiful long-lasting print designs to boot.

Thank you Marelise!

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