Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Printing Bench

List No 2 - Layout the Printing Bench

1.  An inking slab of plate glass, ceramic tile, perspex, smooth stone
2.  An ink roller
3.  Printing Ink
4.  A Palette knife
5.  Old rags and turpentine substitute for cleaning up if using oil based paints
6.  Printing Paper
7.  Old newspapers or recycled paper
8.  A burnishing tool (wooden spoon) or a press
9.  An apron if you are really messy!

Roll up, Roll up!  Put a little ink onto a corner of the inking slab - less than 2.5 cm.  is ideal for a number of proofs.  Use a pallette knife to work the ink to a smooth consistency then transfer a little to the middle of the slab. 

Use the roller to spread the ink out further but don't cover the whole slab.  Roll backwards and forwards in different directions until there is a thin film of ink on the slab and on the roller.  Make sure the roller is evenly covered with ink.

Now ink the lino block, to stop it slipping around the table, place the block on some newspaper and hold the block steady with one hand.  Pass the roller over the block several times; going in different directions and pressing hard enough for the ink to stick to the surface.  Make sure the whole block is covered in ink.

You are now ready to take your first proof.

With the inked block facing upwards; lay a sheet of paper onto the inked block and apply sufficient pressure to take a print.  Use either a wooden spoon, a purpose built burnisher, or a printing press.   If using a wooden spoon or burnisher work your way over the paper in small circular motions, making sure that all the paper area is covered. 

Carefully lift the paper off the lino cut - voila! your first print.

If you wish to take more prints ensure the lino block is inked again each time.

Once you have finished, clean the lino block and roller carefully to ensure all the paint has been removed.  Then allow them to dry thoroughly.

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