Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Carving in a new way...

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...

 Not bad for a first block. Next time I will leave more raised line in between the leaves. I also will go back and carve some of the veins a little deeper. You can see where some filled with ink.

 One of the reasons I wanted to carve a lino block with my design is to be able to print bags for our pottery. I know it sounds like a daunting task, but I think it will be an enjoyable evening activity during the winter months. I am also considering creating some note cards.
Jeff is also going to carve a block and we are planning to do one together with our names and chop marks.
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.


  1. WOW, thanks for the tip on how to warm up the lino before cutting.

    I almost gave up on linocutting due to the amount of force needed, - now I'll give it a try again.

    Love the idear with the paperbags. Great.

  2. What a really great stamp! I love this. When I first started doing shows, I was much more enthusiastic than I am now and I stamped all of my bags with a wood block stamp that Gerry had given me. It's a really nice personal touch. I would definitely make those notecards, you have a beautiful design there.

  3. Looks good. I've been stamping bags this year and I like to see them walking around the midway at shows. You aren't the only one who knows what a heating pad is.

  4. This year, I bought the tools and carved my first stamp. It's something I'd like to put more time into. Don't know a thing about lino, but your ginkgo leaves came out beautifully!

  5. Yes, make the note cards. Picture this, one of your pots, wrapped in some tissue and ribbon inside a bag stamped with your design, and a hand crafted note card saying something sweet, again, with your design. It all ties together beautifully. What a lovely gift that would be for someone.


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