Lino printing is a form of relief printing using a sheet of linoleum as the block.
Linoleum, made from cork and linseed oil, was invented as a floor covering but artists in the early twentieth century realised its potential for printing as it’s easier to carve than wood and is cheap and easily available.
Forget any vague memories you may have of trying to cut a hard, crumbly piece of lino in your schooldays as nowadays there’s a huge range of ‘lino’ blocks available including soft cut, easy carve, transparent, vinyl as well as traditional lino. Each has advantages and disadvantages and it’s good to try a variety to see which suits you best.
In lino printing, the image is drawn or transferred onto the block of lino and then cut out using gouges. The uncut areas of lino will hold the ink and the cut areas remain ink free. Ink is applied to the block using a roller, a piece of paper placed on top and then either run through a press or burnished by hand to produce the finished print.
There are many ways to make lino prints with two, three or more colours. Our favourite is to cut and ink a single block to make Reduction Lino Prints.. The block is inked with the first colour and then areas cut away and the block inked again. Read more about reduction lino prints.
Look at our Lino Printing Pinterest board for examples of lino prints.
If you’d like to learn how to make lino prints, join our Beginner Linocut class where you’ll learn how to design images for lino printing, experiment with mark making and make a two colour lino print using the reduction method. Class size is limited to six people to give you plenty of space to work in and receive individual attention. Our classes are held in the friendly and relaxed atmosphere of the beautiful timber Barley Barn at Slamseys Farm.