I recently took a class on block printing and I am totally hooked! I remember taking a class eons ago and practically losing a finger trying to cut the linoleum. Well things have changed and while wood and linoleum blocks are certainly an option, rubber blocks make cutting very easy.
- Paper. You can use just about any type to print, but a good 80 lb. card stock is a reliable choice.
- Rubber block
- Block printing ink
- Acrylic or glass mat
- Copy paper
- Block cutting tools. I used the small y tool.
- Cut copy paper to the size by tracing the block.
- Draw an image in pencil on the paper. Make sure that the pencil lines are darkly drawn.
- Place image pencil side down on the block. Tape the paper to the block at the top and bottom.
- On the top of the taped down paper, use the side of the pencil and cover the paper with the lead. The paper may be gently lifted at one edge to see if the image has transferred to the block.
- Once the image has transferred, remove the paper.
- With the small y cutting tool, gently cut the outline of the image. While cuts can be deeper, 1/8” is sufficient. Blade come in a variety of widths and types for different cuts.
- When done cutting wipe any small pieces off the block.
- Squeeze or spoon the ink onto the acrylic or glass mat. A little goes a long way.
- Brayer the ink out NOT by rolling from the bottom of the ink blot, but starting above the ink and coming down on the ink blot. Roll out ink to a very thin and smooth consistency.
- Once the ink is rolled out, brayer the ink onto the block, covering the entire block.
- Center and place card stock on the top of the inked block. Use the baren and burnish the paper. Take the time with the baren to get good contact with the paper and the block. Slowly lift the paper. Let dry.
- Clean the block with a bit of dishwasher soap and water.
- To avoid cutting fingers, hold the block with one hand at the bottom of the block and cut towards the top. Turn the block and keep one hand at the bottom.
- Vary the color of the ink by adding a color to the edges of the rolled out ink.
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2 thoughts on “Block Printing is Easy!”
Haven’t done this in years but your drawing is beautiful! Can you do this by tracing an image onto the block? I can’t draw stick figures!
Absolutely! I even thought of using an image from a rubber stamp….