Location:United Kingdom

An avid tea-drinker who likes nutmeg in her coffee and warm lavender-scented quilts. She knits, crochets and partakes in random acts of craftiness (and kindness). She likes obscure works of literature, philosophy and the idea that her mind exists separately from her body. She enjoys moving furniture around, literary criticism and baking bread. She writes haiku about nettles, would like to swim with seals and become completely self-sufficient. She writes as if her life depends on it, listens to beautiful music, and loves her darling husband Mr. VP.

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Saturday 27 May 2017

Lino no-no (aka That time I decided to use oil-based printing inks for the first time)

If you have noticed a dearth of lino-related posts, it’s because I had a huge creative surge and then… nothing. I think I experienced a bit of ‘creative burn-out’ after going non-stop lino loopy for the last few weeks. I even took my lino stuff on holiday with me in the hopes that I’d get a chance to do it but on the evenings I did get some time, I chose to spend it staring at the amazing view (Scotland, I love you), drinking a lot of cups of tea and talking to Mr VP about the amazing view. Oh and trying to photograph buzzards. But yeah, not much on the lino front.

I tried the other day to draw something I’ve been trying to draw for ages, except I just couldn’t get the proportions right. Knowing I needed to get the drawing right to be able to print it, and after a lot of effing and jeffing, I gave up in frustration. It was starting to get me down, as I am not a natural artist so I have been flippin amazed quite chuffed with what I’ve been able to achieve so far. So I decided to go back to what I knew, to show myself that I *could* still draw something. So I took inspiration from nature – the root of pretty much everything I do – and doodled some flowers, leaves, a bleeding heart plant and a snail. I continued until I had filled the lino ‘page’ and then I cut it out. It was one of the fiddliest plates I’ve done but felt so good to be doing something creative again.

A while ago, I got some new inks but hadn’t had the chance to use them. They’re water-washable oil-based relief inks by Cranfield/Caligo and they’re what Professionals use (ha!). I thought as Toddler VP had gone down quite early I’d have the time to sit down and have a bit of a dabble printing before I had to go to bed, so I set off. The results were amazing. It’s totally different in feel and look to the water-based inks I’ve used before; the results are crisp, it has just the right amount of transfer and tack and I really liked using it.

So having done my first proofs (and seeing where I needed to do some revision cuts,) I realised it was approaching 10pm and time for bed. So I took the inking plate and roller upstairs to the bathroom to be washed (as the inks contain chemicals I don’t particularly want in the kitchen). According to the manufacturer, it’s a case of wash off with detergent and warm water. Well, I did that and nothing happened, except covering everything in a layer of thick black oily goop. My gloved hands were covered, the inking plate was worse than before and the roller looked like it had taken a dip at La Brea. Ack! Trying not to make any noise because there was a sleeping Toddler VP in the next room, I roused Mr VP’s attention and urged him to Google something FAST. He found the PDF explaining the cleaning procedure and mentioned using a brush. We didn’t have brushes, but we did have a sponge scourer so I gave one of those a try. Finally, after getting myself into a muck sweat, it started to come off. Enough to allow me to put it away and call it a night. Obviously Professionals have a proper sink and the right cleaners and brushes and aren’t trying to do it at 11pm next to a sleeping child’s bedroom. Ha!  I’m not sure my inking roller will ever be the same (then again after the other night I’m not sure I will be either)!

However, as for the results, I think it’s one of my favourite pieces yet. Full of the things in nature I love the most. Most of all, it might not be what I had intended to do but it gave me a bit of faith back that I could do something. And most of all I really enjoyed doing it. Except the cleaning up bit…

2 thoughts on “Lino no-no (aka That time I decided to use oil-based printing inks for the first time)

  1. Ann says:

    What tools would i need as starter kit to give this a go?

  2. Marie says:

    This is charming – well done! Had to smile at the clean-up ;-). Marie x

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