At The Printing Press
This photograph shows me at a printing press. My biggest linoprints are 86 x 122 cm—block size, the paper size is 5 cm bigger on all sides (please find the image of such a big linoprint in the section print media).
A giant printing press would take up a lot of space in my studio. So, when three or four lino blocks are ready, I am hiring a studio with a printing press ( The Printmakers Association at the Tresillian Arts Centre or Midland Junction Arts Centre). Printing is the last step in a laborious, complex process:
1) The sketch. It is good to have one because a block print lilke a linoprint will result in a mirror image.
2) Cutting the lino (various types are available) to size and transfering the sketch with carbon paper—reversed because of the resulting mirror image.
3) Carving the design with lino cutters (the best are German and Swiss).
4) Proofing: a print on cheap paper to check and possibley correct mistakes.
5) Cutting the good paper (220 to 300 gsm) to size.
6) Registration: tracing the outlines of the linoblock onto a sheet of cartridge paper in the same size as the good paper.
7) The good print: inking the lino block (various types of ink available); placing the linoblock onto the registration sheet, covering with the good paper; rolling through the printing press.
8) The repeat: making more prints or even the entire edition (as long as the ink does not clog the linoblock.
9) Drying the prints dry on a drying rack or clothes line.
10) Colouring the print with ink or watercolour—optional.