Inky Fingers

A very long time ago……yes in what feels like a different galaxy I learned how to do the basics of printmaking including linocut. That was back when I did a two year TAFE course in Art and Design, when I was first married. The only other time I had anything to do with printmaking was in year 12 art where we touched on it briefly. I loved lino but despite doing a short course in Printmaking during my Art degree, I didn’t really do it again. I think I covered monoprint, etching and a bit of screen printing at uni but no lino or woodcut. Here are some of my etchings from Uni days.

When I was growing up I was surrounded by the printing industry. My parents were involved in the very beginnings of the Christian newspaper ‘Challenge‘ and so at the age of about 7 I was moved out of my bedroom and into a bunk bed to share with my younger brother and my pink walled room was turned temporarily into a drafting room. Our garage was divided up into a printing press area and a dark room. This all stayed this way until a guillotine was put on the back verandah so Mum drew the line and a suitable workshop was found for the newspaper to move to. Here’s Mum at the printing press:
I have never forgotten my Mum’s inky fingers, the smell of the ink and cleaning solution nor the sound of the AB Dick 360 press running. Every now and then I walk past a print shop and the sounds an smells take me back.
I’m fairly sure this is where my love for printmaking started although its not until now that I’ve started playing with it properly. When I say properly, I mean I went out and bought inks, lino and a new rubber roller. I don’t have a roller press although I’d love to have one.
Seeing as its been….close to 20 years since I’ve done any linocut I am starting off with simple designs which get my fingers back into the groove of cutting. Yes, bandaids have been needed already (my tools are cheap and not sharp enough). Its been fun over the last few months playing around again with linocut and hopefully soon I’ll try some new things but for now, its fun just playing in my little studio. Here’s a few shots of what I’ve been up to:
The current linocut I’m working on can be seen at the top of the post.

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