Mailbox Stockport Lino-print

Mailbox Stockport apartment block
Reduction Lino cut ‘Mailbox Stockport’

In the months of July and August, I have completed a 7 colour reduction lino-cut print depicting the Mailbox Stockport apartment block which is a former post office building that had been abandoned for years. The building is located in the centre of Stockport just off the A6 main road not far from the railway station. The new building has real foliage and bright green tiled walls on it’s exterior.

I used oil based inks from Hawthorn Printmakers this time apart from the green which is a mix of water-based Pea green and oil based Titanium white. The effect of mixing a water based ink with oil based printing ink is very interesting in that it creates a unusual pattern when the print dries.

I created a total of 10 prints from the plate which I cut down until only a few pieces of linoleum remained. The red colour used in the print was added with watercolour paint.

Lino printing weekend

Last weekend, I attended a reduction linocut workshop organised by Alan Birch at his print studio in Rossendale with artist/tutor Stuart Brocklehurst who specialises in Linocut, Mezzotint and Drypoint techniques.

The weekend went well and was very productive. Seven printmakers were involved in the workshop producing a lovely set of prints ranging from wildfowl to landscapes. The process is hard going as there is no printing press involved just plenty of elbow grease by means of hand burnishing, which can take its toll on your muscles, especially your shoulder blades as I found out later on. I did a bit of preparation beforehand and purchased a small barren for burnishing from Intaglio Printmaker based in London.

The main achievement was to get perfect registration of each colour onto each print using a registration frame which consisted of a flat board with bits of thin wood glued at right angles on top and thin cardboard strips to act as spacers. The linoleum sheet was also prepped beforehand and been cleaned with washing up liquid to reduce the oil on the surface. A wide inlaid groove was also cut out of the A4 sheet. This created a thin border of lino of less than a centimetre wide which would allow the roller to rest on it while printing.

My print depicted a window in the abandoned NHS infirmary in Stockport. The print still needs a final sixth colour to be printed to show off the outline of the brick work.

A total of five individual colours have been printed onto ten prints, which amounts to fifty separate print runs. The final total will be sixty runs and I will have to choose which prints make the edition.

I am pleased with the results so far and look forward to finishing off the print soon. Results will be posted on this blog. Finally my aches and pains have reduced as I write this blog, a warm bath awaits…

Lino print (7th and final colour added)

Today, I added the final colour to my church print. I started by created a small print block from an off cut of Lino and cut away to get the shape of a cross to represent the St. George flag. I then used some oil based red printing ink and added some oil to soften the ink. Using a small roller, I gently applied the ink to the block. I then placed the block on top of each print and applied pressure using a barren with about 15 passes of the barren. Below is a photo of the finished relief print. I have learnt a lot by producing this Lino print and hope to produce more prints and improve my technique.