Linocut coming along nicely…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s architectural term is ‘pulpitum’ – a stone screen in a major church erected to shut off the choir from the nave.
I was planning to have a nice pulpitum built in my major church, but when the choir got wind of the idea of being shut off from the nave they rebelled and I had to cancel the bloody thing…

DSCN4616Well, a few days ago, when I posted a picture of my old wooden chair by the window with the half-done design for a linocut and some pencils lying on it, I didn’t think that it was going to turn into a mini-series. However, I thought that you might be interested in seeing how my little project is going.
At the top of the picture you can see the finished design in ballpoint pen and pencil on paper, and below there is the lino block with some of the cutting done. You may notice that the image is transferred straight onto the lino (carbon paper) without being reversed, the final prints will be a mirror image of this design – no no, this isn’t a mistake. As I mentioned in the previous post, I held the design up to the light and looked at the back of the sheet – the image will look fine either way round.
Shall I say something about all the stuff on the bench? Ah, I’ll bet you are wondering what that round grey thing is that the lino block is sitting on. It is a sort of turntable, a very cheap and plasticky one that I bought from a Poundshop a few years ago – and very useful it has been. It is great for swivelling the work around as you do your cutting – a bit like a Lazy Susan… Lazy Susan? Yes, I had never heard of this person Lazy Susan, until I came across her in a US woodworking supplies catalogue. Apparently she is a swivelling disc thing that you have in the middle of your dining table with food items on it so that your diners can swivel and fight over it and grab the nice things laid out there. I wonder if it is named after a real Susan many years ago who was notoriously lazy? Hey, why not a Lazy Sam?… But I digress…
On the right of Susan you see my lino cutting tools. Now, if you have never done any lino cutting and you fancy giving it a try, the first things that you will need are, obviously a piece of lino and a set of little cutting tools. Whoa! Do not buy the cheap set of cutters that slot into the red plastic handle – they are too expensive and are very cheaply made – the ones I bought from Hobbycraft wouldn’t cut ‘ot butter! If you fancy using that type of tool I would pay a bit more and get something a bit more ‘professional’; Abig are a pretty good make. I don’t use the traditional lino tools very often – I tend to use a scalpel and the small ‘chisel’ from a cheap ‘woodcarving’ set, as well as some homemade tiny ‘chisels’ made from some sharpened miniature screwdrivers. Notice how I have stuck plastic tape in various colours on the handles to make it easier to find the one you want from the mess on the bench.
All being well, and if I don’t make some horrible mistake, you may see one of the finished prints (on proper Japanese paper which I have just ordered) on these pages in a few days – stay tuned dear reader…

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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8 Responses to Linocut coming along nicely…

  1. Pulpitum (alternative usage) – used to describe someone who has gorged on too many home baked cakes. I do like your progress on the Lino cut project, it looks very professional 🙂 Also, tape-marking the different instruments is quite ingenious! What kind of Japanese paper have you bought?

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Pulpitum?… Cakes?… Gorged?…
      Colour coding the tools is all very well, but you still have to remember which colour goes with which tool… Doh!…
      I have ordered, and now received, my sheets of “Kizuki 4 Monme” – don’t those words sound great! I have just been cutting it up into roughly A4-sized sheets. It is a bit ‘silky’ looking and transparent – and it does print very nicely. When the print is framed and on display you need a white sheet of paper installed behind it to brighten it up a bit. Looks very classy!

      • Oh! Your paper sounds lovely, a bit like Vellum, perhaps? And yes, the name rolls off the tongue quite nicely! That store looks divine – I just ordered a catalogue. They have a lovely range of items – nothing I love more than browsing round an art store (in real life or online) Looking forward to seeing the final print, all posh in its frame 😀

      • Dave Whatt says:

        Vellum, I don’t think I’ve ever had the vellum experience – I always imagined it to be perhaps a bit thick and er, crispy. The Japanese thinner papers look and feel more like tissue paper, but they are surprisingly strong.
        Lawrence do sample pack of A4 sheets of Japanese papers – that’s very nice.
        My print: oh it won’t be framed, I haven’t the space on the walls – it’ll just go in a folder with all my other prints. I usually do a numbered edition of just ten of each.

  2. Looking forward to the Lino. And as for lazy Susan, no self respecting 1960’s kitchen or dining table would have been without one in my neighborhood though different households put different items on them. Competed with a bowl of fruit for most necessary accessory for the table. Lots of fun to spin fast and launch all the items all over the table though doing this would get you put on extra KP.

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