So I finally found a bit of time last week to sit down and play with some new materials in the studio!! I recently came across some beautiful linocut work in one of my favourite magazines Uppercase and it inspired me to try it out myself!
I had all of the carving tools from way back when I was doing by BFA at NSCAD here in Halifax. I really just needed to buy the rubber and some ink! Above is the beginning stages of a flower being cut from the rubber.
The process is really quite simple and lots of fun for folks of all ages. Basically you are making a stamp. You use a set of carving tools to carve out your design, and then you roll over your stamp with ink using a brayer (it looks a lot like a mini paint roller) and then you are ready to STAMP! It’s a really fun way of printmaking and a neat way to play around with pattern too. If you are wondering where to buy these supplies, check in the printmaking section of your local art supply store!
I got started by making the funky flower cut out you see above. At this stage the flower has been covered in a thin layer of water soluble ink. It is ready to be stamped!
It took a bit of practice getting the right amount of ink onto the stamp, and learning how much pressure and for how long you should hold the stamp to the paper. I got a few mushy looking flowers that meant that I had applied too thick a layer of ink!
I was so excited that I quickly felt I needed to move onto something else. I decided I’d like to create a little scene. I’ve been really onto these funny bears I’ve been drawing so I went with that and began to carve my bear.
Here is the freshly carved bear stamp I made:
I rolled him with some hot pink ink…
And then the fun part, creating patterns!
I carved a few tiny shapes from the scraps that I had to create some extra interest in my pattern and I played around with different coloured papers that I had laying around. I also started to experiment with watcolour washes in the background and came out with this:
I only spent a few hours in the studio after dinner that night, but I had a ton of fun. I realize that the time I spend in my studio experimenting gives me a lot of energy and inspiration. I’ll definitely be taking these fun beginnings to other new and exciting places! Stay tuned!