There is soooo much that you can do with printmaking, the very broad medium that allows you to make multiples of one image. Most people think of printmaking as linoleum blocks, the thing you probably learned in an art class somewhere. I can definitely remember my very first linoleum block, back in 7th grade. It was JFK. I was taking a class on the assassination and was a bit obsessed at the time, I suppose. I remember the abomination that was his nose. I tell my students about that horrible nose to this day. Maybe some day I will locate and scan those prints and post 'em here. Or not. But printmaking isn't only about linoluem blocks, though it's my favorite method for printing right now. There are stencils, there are potatoes and sponges and random found objects, there's transfers, etching, lithography, and serigraphy-- all fun things to play around with, some requiring more equipment than others. This, however, is about Linoleum Block printing without a press.
Type of CraftEdit
I would like to stress: You do NOT need to go get yourself the fanciest of fancy printing supplies to do this. Experiment with a number of things and see what you like best. Substitute what you already have MATRIX (Vocab word-- that which will be printed-- where you make your design): Linoleum blocks (see an art supply store), erasers, EZ-Cut blocks, and yes, even kitchen linoleum will work. Carving Tool: like a Speedball cutter with interchangeable tips, a set of fancy wooden carvers, or even a utility or carving knife like an X-acto blade (if you're using EZ cut or eraser) will work. Bench Hook: For safety's sake, this metal or wood Z-shaped thing will hold your block in place while you carve. Brayer: A roller for applying nice, even coats of ink. Baren: Spoons make great barens! Ink: Block printing ink (again, art supply store) or acrylic paint (heavy body); Experiment. Non-porous surface to roll ink out on. Metal bench hook, piece of glass or plexi... I've used the cover of a magazine before. Something to print on: Paper: Have your paper the right size for your block BEFORE you start. I promise it will make your life easier. Fabric: Choose something that is not super-textured. Also try: Stickers, recycled papers, handmade papers, books, newspaper, magazine.
1. Get your image on to your block by drawing or transferring. Remember that things will print backwards, so be sure to make all letters and numbers backwards.
2. I color everything I WANT to show up in my print with a permanent marker.
3. Carve away everything that is left WHITE-- not markered.
4. You can test your block at this point by using a water-based stamp pad or marker to get a ghost print of your image. Make sure everything that's supposed to be carved away is gone.
5. Roll out your ink. Again, experiment. If your brayer [roller] is sliding without spreading the ink, you have tooooo much on there. Get a nice even coating on your inking surface.
6. Roll up your block. Roll in a cross direction (up and down, then side to side) for nice, even coat of ink.
7. Print until your heart's content!
Step by step instructions with photos at Zucchini and Me