Did anyone else do lino printing in high school?
We had to carve an Aboriginal-type design.
I remember it fondly.
Such memories always affect my homeschool plans.
In this case, I was determined that my boys would have a similar experience at home.
So I tracked down some lino printing kits online.
This is the one we purchased: Derivan Lino Printing Starter Kit.
Lots of online art suppliers sell it. (The site we purchased from seems to have disappeared.)
In addition to the kit, I purchased better quality, slightly larger lino squares than those provided in the kit.
(I purchased Silk Cut Lino Squares.)
Then, I thought we were ready to start,
when I heard about ‘guards’.
When we did lino carving at school,
we were expected to keep our hands away from the blades
and our teacher handed out bandaides to those who didn’t.
But, nowadays, safety is top priority so they have these things called ‘guards’.
They hold the lino in position while you carve
and they also protect your surface from over-zealous carvers.
Guards sounded like a great idea so we decided they were a necessary item.
However, their price was ridiculous for what they were
so I decided that we’d make our own.
Okay, I held the camera and provided the students,
and Grandad was in charge of the woodworking instruction.
Grandad did all the cutting.
I wasn’t letting my babies’ fingers near that great big saw thingie!
(Mothers really shouldn’t be in attendance when their little men need to learn how to be proper men.
I’ll remember that for next time and send hubby.)
So the boys did the drilling and screwing,
with Grandad’s assistance.
Our guards were very basic.
Merely a square of wood with two lipped edges on alternate sides.
The concept is that one lip holds the guard to the table
so it doesn’t move as you push away from the edge with your carving tools.
The other lip holds the lino in place and also prevents blades from running over onto the table.
With our guards constructed and our lino kits purchased,
we were ready to start designing and carving.
For our first lino carving, I emphasised simplicity of design
so they could focus on learning to carve.
Brayden had very grand plans in mind
but I held him back a little
and restricted him to something a little less intricate than he had initially planned.
And, very quickly, he appreciated my intervention.
He was a little frustrated that it was harder than he was expecting.
It’s not exactly difficult, but it does require physical effort, endurance and a lot of perseverance.
I was really pleased that the boys stuck at it
and worked all afternoon to complete their carvings.
By the end, their hands and fingers were definitely sore
but they were so pleased with their carvings
that they hardly seemed to care.
Brayden, our Star Wars fan, carved a storm trooper mask
and Ethan, our Minecraft fan, carved a pick axe.
– yes, I ordered a kit for me too –
I carved an interlocking type design.
My design took several days to complete.
(I started work before the boys so I could offer them tips from my experience.)
Oh and you’ll be pleased to hear that
no fingers or tables were scarified during the carving of these pieces.
A few days after our carving afternoon,
we printed our carved designs.
Our kit provided everything we needed
except a surface to place our ink on so we could apply it to our rollers.
For this, we used the glass from an old photo frame.
Everything about the printing process was easy.
Just make sure to properly cover your carvings with ink.
We would peek under the paper
to check if we needed to apply more ink to areas.
(The ink was so tacky that there was little fear of moving the paper while peeking.)
Here is Ethan’s finished printing of his pick axe.
He was very pleased with it.
Also make sure that the carvings are dusted free
from all stray pieces of lino.
These also interfere with the final printing.
I loved watching the boys’ face as they revealed their printings.
They were very pleased with their prints.
This is Brayden’s storm trooper.
It turned out pretty well I thought.
And this is my print.
Yes, I’m equally pleased with my print.
Lino carving and printing is definitely an activity that we’d highly recommend.