We start all of our design processes with a drawing in fine line pen. We are influenced by the beauty of the natural environment and prefer to draw from life or photographs we have taken.
Once we have our drawings we transfer them onto our lino blocks using graphite pencils. Once on the block this is when we make our finishing touches to the design. Details are then once again made in pen, this time we like to draw the areas that will be inked up, so everything left we know to carve out.
Carving time! We get many comments asking us how we have the patience for this, but this is our favourite part. The carving is so therapeutic and time just flies by. We use a natural lino made from linseed oil and Pfeil carving tools that require us to stop every 20-30 minutes and re-sharpen the tool we are using. They are so sharp we do have some accidents every now and then! Each block varies massively in how long it takes to carve. Our bigger prints can take up to 40 hours, whilst our tiny A6 prints take just a few hours.
Once carved it is ready for a test print. This will give us the first look at the print and highlight any areas that may need more carving. When finally happy with the print after all the fiddling and tweaking, we are ready to print onto anything we choose!
We use Caligo safe wash inks to print onto paper and fabric. Once we have mixed our colour we ink up the block using a brayer (roller) and can either use our printing press or another roller or a Japanese barren to transfer the print over. We tend to use the press for the larger prints and print smaller prints and fabric by hand.
Once dry, our fabrics have to be ironed to set the print. Then they are safe to wash without colour loss.
That is our general process! We also make reduction prints which have a more individual process. You can find out how we can make these on our blogs where we go into more detail.
If you want to learn how to do this yourself we run workshops for people of all levels of experience, head to our workshops section of the website to find out more.