Handprinting Relief Blocks at Home

If you’re thinking about new visual art skills and interests to pursue, relief printing at
home is an option you might want to try. Unlike most other printing processes it
requires few tools, little space, and, so long as you persuade your pet cat not to get
involved, it isn’t messy.
The process is akin to potato printing. You cut away areas from a flat surface and
print directly from the raised surface that remains. Remember whatever you draw or
write will flip horizontally when printed.

So ‘HELP’ should be written the other way round!

There are many kits available online. But if you want to put your own kit together you
can shop around.
The basic tools are:
A pencil, to draw the image onto the lino.
A set of lino cutters (or a sharp penknife if you are in hiding and living a half century
before the invention of the silicon chip - see lead article).
A roller to spread the ink
A baren, or a flat wooden spoon to print with
The materials are:
Paper to print on
Ink (Akum Gum Arabic washable, slow-drying inks are recommended).  
Our Printstudio Coordinator Valentina Biga has prepared an introduction to
printing in two colours which is downloadable.


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