Be careful not to press too hard; if you’re using a
very soft linoleum you could inadvertently leave
indents where you don’t want them. Once you have
the outlines transferred, remove the carbon paper
and the drawing and use a permanent marker to fill
in the areas that will print.
Toner Method: You can also use a toner transfer
method if you want to print your design from your
computer. This will not work with an inkjet print,
only a laser print. Place the laser-printed design
facedown onto the linoleum, and using a cotton ball,
wet the back of the paper with acetone or Bestine
solvent. Lightly burnish the back of the paper for a
few seconds and then gently peel it back from the
block. Keep in mind that you need to work in a well-ventilated area if you use this method.
2.CA RVE THE DESIGN
This is my favorite part — carving the block!
Q: What is the best way to hold the
Using a Speedball handle and the accompany-
ing blades, you can now carve out any part of the A: This is usually a matter of personal preference,
design that will not print, thereby showing white, and after some time spent carving you’ll discover
what works best for you with the least amount of
or the color of the paper. There are many different strain on your hand. I recommend that you start by
types of blades available depending on the look you holding the carving tool as you would a pencil. This
want, but I generally use only two blades, the #1 and will give you more control when cutting, especially
the #3. The #1 is good for detail work and the #3 is for flowing curvy lines. You may want to switch to
an overhand grip when clearing out large areas or
good for clearing out large white areas. Crosshatch- cutting very deeply.
ing or varying the thickness of your lines can create
As you’re carving, be mindful of the direction of your
strokes. Some edges will inevitably be sticking up,
which will create interesting line effects in the white
areas. These carving lines are part of your design, so
you’ll get a better look by working them in coherent
IMPORTANT: Always cut away from yourself when
carving and don’t put your opposite hand in front of the
blade when you’re holding the linoleum in place. A good
device to help with safe carving is a bench hook (
pictured at right), which gives you leverage by providing an
edge to hook onto the table and an edge against which
to brace the linoleum.