I have been thinking a lot about linoleum block printing for the last two years. Whenever I carve a pot, I thinking about how well the design would translate to a print. I had a very small experience with block printing in high school and that was a long, long, time ago! Last week I finally decided to buy a tool set and give it a try.
As usual, youtube is a great place to find tutorials. The BEST advice I found on "Instructables". The artist recommended using a heated blanket to warm your lino block before carving. I don't have a heated blanket, but a heating pad is actually a better alternative. The artist who suggested the heated blanket was young, and probably hasn't experienced the aches and pains that I have, therefore he probably doesn't even know that such a thing exists. The warm linoleum cut very smoothly and with less effort. Which for me translates into less stress on my shoulder.
I finished carving my block this morning and was ready for some test printing...
I was super stressed in September when I injured my shoulder. Losing nearly a month of pottery making before the last show of the year was scary. I have to say that I learned something from it. It's better to take care of your body than push it over the edge. There will always be enough pots for a show, even if they aren't exactly the ones you planned on... and while you are taking it slow, learn to do something new.