Of Oz, Clogs and Linocut Prints!

Gentle reader,

When I finished high school in Australia, I went on student exchange to the US to do the last half of senior year all over again. Glutton for punishment, right? ^_~ Not really, it was the best thing I’ve ever done in my whole entire life, and I met some of the most awesome peeps ever. And, I also got to learn how to do linocut prints! I wish for the life of me I could remember my art teacher’s name, she was so amazing, and I feel like a jerk that I can’t remember. But, that class was so amazing, and I learned more about art and craft in the six months than I did in the two years I took art at my Australian school.

Anyway, recently my super lovely friend, Amy (who blogs at Mildly Crafty, so you should give her some love!), gave me a whole bunch of linocut bits and bobs – all stored in a delightful old cardboard suitcase – and a book about different DIY printing processes. I already had some linocut stuff, but I hadn’t touched it in years so this got me all fired up about linocut all over again!

Amy’s Awesome Gifties.

I didn’t use the clean, new blocks that Amy gave me, because I wanted to save those for when I was more practiced, so I used some lino scraps I already had. The fabric paint didn’t work very well on my lino – it balled up and didn’t print very well – so I used the regular block ink that I already had. I can’t wait to do some fabric printing though!

My first carving went straight into the bin because I’d forgotten to mirror the letters so they printed the right way, but after that I did a Wizard of Oz print which came out really well! I was very happy with that one. Beginner’s luck. The next one I did was of the clogs. It’s somewhat of a tradition for bloggers to take pictures of their feet, I guess, which I’ve always thought was quite funny and cute. A bunch of the lovely ladies whose blogs and Instagrams I follow seem to love their clogs, so I asked GourmetGirlfriend if I could use one of her Instagrams as a reference and carved a tribute to bloggers who clog. ^_~

It’s slow going, but super satisfying!

I’m still finding the best amount of ink to use. The first time, I used to too much, and tried watering it down a little. I got the best prints from thicker ink though, and having a lot of ink had some trade-offs. I got better prints, and more prints from one application, but I also got more waste prints at the beginning from the ink squishing around the edges too much. So, the second time I used less ink, and got good prints, but not quite as good, and only one or two prints per application. I need to find the happy medium.

The roller is called a brayer. The more you know!

I did prints on brown paper and some canvas cartridge. I think I liked the brown paper best. I have lots of love for brown paper… brown paper bags, brown paper parcels, ah! I love it all! So, I was really happy with my brown paper prints. I found that I liked the Oz design a lot more when the print wasn’t completely even, and the paper showed through in places with the ink. But, for the Clogs one, I liked it more when the print was very crisp and even.

No Place Like Home, and Clog Lovin’

The canvas was more of a mixed bag. I think it was just a little too textured, and the Clogs design went right up to the edge so it was tricky to line up. I think I’d like to try printing on some other textured materials that aren’t quite as rough, like watercolor paper or something. I still liked them! Just not quite as much.

Click your Silver Clogs three times… (or Ruby Clogs for the movie peeps).

All in all, I’m properly happy with the carvings, but I still have some experimenting to do with the printing process. They’re definitely not Etsy-ready, but hopefully soon. Experimenting is the fun part, so I’m well keen to get on with it!

Meanwhile, I should have a finished sock to show you soon! ^_^

What other kinds of designs would you like to see? Have you done any printing before?


12 thoughts on “Of Oz, Clogs and Linocut Prints!

  1. Yay lino! I still have a couple of scars from my linocutting days in art class, but I loved it all the same.

    And I agree about the brown paper printing! It looks WELL fashion. Loving your creative ways!


  2. These are great! Love your designs – very neat and I love the look of them on brown paper. I’ve always wanted to try lino printing, but forget to pick up the supplies when I go to the city. I remember senior students at my school doing them, unfortunately the teacher had changed by the time I was a senior.

    • I know the feeling! It’s far too often that I go into the city and forget what I’m even there for, and just go off on random wanderings instead. Which isn’t always a bad thing. lol

      You should definitely give it a go! It’s a pretty fun. Perhaps buy the things online so you won’t forget? ^_~

  3. Hey Raynor, I’m so happy you can make (excellent) use of those things. They were sitting around in my cupboard for three years or so! You know, I did notice your earlier linocut had the letters the “right” way and wondered how that was going to work 😉

    • Aaaaammmmmyyyyy! Thank you lots and lots! I have prints for you! It’s only right that you get some prints. ^_~ Haha, yeah, I’m not sure that it was the first time, nor do I think it will be the last. I have a plan for fixing it so it’s not a total waste, but I’ve set that aside for a bit to let my ego recover. lol

  4. Oh my gosh, your prints look so great! I love the clogs one on the brown paper – it looks so crisp and professional! ^_^

    I have done lino printing before and I find the hardest thing is to get an even print; I usually end up rolling it over with my rolling pin while pressing down as hard as I can … surely there must be an easier way! Perhaps my problem is with the ink?

    Anyway, I can’t wait to see your next prints!! ^_^

  5. I love Lino prints! We did it at school too. But damn am I jealous of your US trip, I’d have died to do that! Xx

  6. These look fantastic! I minored in print making which involved a fair bit of lino cutting (AND quiiite a few backward letters hehe!) I’ll have to pick it up again!! I’m a massive Wizard of Oz Fan too (I was borderline obsessed when I was child.. I WAS Dothery, pig tails, ruby shoes and all!)

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