On Friday 3rd August I took my first lino printing workshop in Rochdale, Lancashire. All week I have been preparing and working out a time table for the day and getting all my ideas together so that everyone gets the most out of the day which was running 10am – 4pm. I got some printing books from the library and some of my own books and magazines for inspiration and a little collection of my own printed work.
I decided to collect a few leaves for some design ideas as they give a great simple shape for your first lino cut. On Thursday I could be seen scouring the streets of Manchester City Centre looking for interesting leaves and shapes and definitely got a few strange looks as I emerged from the bushes clutching a bunch of leaves!
On Friday I loaded everything into my car and drove over to Rochdale where the workshop was taking place. I had two wonderful students, Lynn of Doodly Bird fame http://www.doodlybird.co.uk and Karen. After and lovely cup of tea and a chat I started to set up all the equipment and got prepared.
The aim of the day was to start with a little introduction to lino printing, a look at all the different equipment and then get them to have a go and mess about and get to grips with all the cutters and what effects they give on prints and eventually have a go at printing their own design onto a tea towel.
I did a quick demonstration of how to use the cutters by showing them a simple leaf pattern and then they had a go. They were both really good straight away and needed very little help. I love lino because it is such a simple method of printing and has such satisfying results, you can just let your imagination take over. Something as simple as a leaf can spark something amazing.
They both started with leaves but Lynn then decided to have a go at one of her Doodly Bird designs which worked so well.
I got them to start with prints on paper to get used to the inks and the pressure to use to get the desired effect. We were printing everything by hand with no press which is how I do my own prints and means you don’t need any expensive equipment to start.
Lynn used a paint brush to apply specific areas with colour on her newest Doodly Bird.
Karen used a simple sponge which gives great texture to a print and mixes colours really well. Some of her prints had a great ethnic look to them. They used plain white paper and also some lovely handmade paper sheets both giving different effects and textures to the prints.
After a lovely lunch and quick browse through the books it was back to work. I brought along some plain white tea towels for them to print, so the afternoon was dedicated to creating a design for the tea towels. Karen had created quite a few leaf and flower lino cuts so had to decide which ones she was going to choose. Her final design was really striking and the colours looked fantastic.
Lynn used her Doodly Bird and created a friend and printed them both so they were talking to each other. Up the side she designed a pretty stylised flower. Unable to resist she finished the tea towel off with the help of a black fabric pen, giving it her trademark look which definitely made it look amazing.
I had such a fantastic day and two brilliant students and am looking forward to more workshops in the future. I loved being a teacher and passing on skills and techniques that I love and I hope that they both carry on with lino printing. Lynn has done a little review of the workshop on her wonderful blog ‘One I Made Earlier’ so take a look: http://www.oneimadeearliertoday.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/another-string-to-our-bow.html
If anybody is interested in lino printing I am happy to do a workshop for you either in your own home or in a rented space close by. I am based in the Manchester area and am happy to take groups of up to 5 people. Please feel free to contact me to find out more.