The world of Lino printing is one that I’ve skirted around the edges of with great trepidation. This project only slightly addresses my fears in that I’ve bought the lino, cut out a shape and used the lino as a stamp but I didn’t even consider etching out any detail. When I even think about making a lino print I get a mental block about what parts stay coloured and what stays the same. Thinking about “if I etch away this section what colour will it be?” makes my brain hurt and so for the moment I’m keeping it very, very simple and I cut out the shape I needed covered in in fabric ink, stamped it, no fancy stuff at all!
The project was to jazz up a blue tablecloth that I’ve had for years that never gets any use. The method was very easy.
I drew a pear on the lino, Cut out the shape using a cheap lino cutter (a scissors would have done fine). Next cut the leaf and stalk from main body of the pear because I wanted to do them different colours. I stuck the lino to cardboard so my inky fingers didn’t touch off the cloth as I used the stamp. Next I rolled the fabric ink. I bought a starter kit with a few different colours because I have big fabric ink dreams for the future but you can buy them separately too. Then I rolled the ink on a sheet of glass, up down over and back for a minute or too until the texture got tacky. Then I rolled the printing roller over the pear stamp and pressed the stamp down on the fabric. After finishing the body of the pear I washed everything with warm water, rolled the green ink and gave each pear a green leaf and stalk.
Here are a few things I learnt:
-Less is more when it comes to fabric ink. Start with a little ink and roll it well. The amount of yellow ink that’s blobbing around in the pictures above is way too much. I reigned it back for the green ink and that worked much better.
– Print on a completely flat surface not a ridged table like I did!
-Printing outside feels lovely and bohemian but flies get stuck on your pear stamps and you make a mess trying to rescue them from an inky death.
– The project takes longer than one toddler nap time. As a guide it took an hour and a half from drawing the shape to getting one lenght and width of the fabric stamped. Stamping itself is very quick but allow a bit of time to get to that stage.
– Start with a practice cloth. It’s simple to do but you do need a bit of practice to figure out how much ink works best for the look your after.
-If your doing a repeat pattern draw a straight line with chalk or masking tape where you want the stamp to go. I did it by eye and the pattern goes up at the ends and then swoops down when I realise, another oops!
– Iron your fabric. Ironing is against my principles ( really I just hate it) so I didn’t but I will concede it would look better if I had.
Last but not least enjoy. Rolling goey stuff and stamping has an air of pre-school about it, so enjoy and get messy (but not too messy, it is fabric ink after all so don’t go around touching your clothes:)
So there you have it, ink and lino make a very nice pear indeed! (sorry I couldn’t resist)