Printmaking can be a very costly medium to work with in schools due to extensive range of materials such as inks, cooper plates, rollers, papers etc need to create a print. But in this activity I am going to demonstrate and share ideas on how to cut down printmaking costs and still produce wonderful lino prints.
Lino Print "Look at all the mark making"
Lino Printing or Lino Cutting as it is also known is a block printing technique. Lino printing is quite a simple process and as a result is it widely used in schools. It is a great way to introduce students to the art of printmaking.
What you will need:
- Lino cutting tools
- Lino blocks
- Black inks
- 200gsm cartridge paper
Lino blocks are the foundation for your print. They are a rubbery like surface that can be cut into using lino cutting tools. There are a range of lino surfaces that can be purchased, silk cut being the top of the range and the most pricey to other no name brands. I recommend purchasing a rubber like lino block from Deans art they are ideal for beginners and cost roughly $5 an A4 sheet. Make sure to buy in bulk as its much cheaper its always good to stock up for next year also!
Rollers can be the most expensive part to lino printing. Rollers can range anywhere between over $100 to $20. Rollers in schools however are often left uncleaned by students causing them to age quickly. I recommend purchasing a number of $20 rollers from Zart Art and these should be used only for the younger students years 7 - 9. I would also purchase 3 -5 good quality rollers from Melbourne etching supplies and only allow the senior students access to these which will hopefully prevent damage to the rollers.
Lino printing inks can also get quiet expensive especially for the good quality inks. I would recommend purchasing only primary water based coloured lino inks. They are easy to clean water wash up and are toxic free. Make sure to store them in a safe cool cupboard to prevent the inks from drying out.
Instead of using expensive printmaking papers, which can cost up to $8 - 10 a sheet, I recommend using 200gsm cartridge paper. It is essential to purchase thicker cartridge paper, as it helps soak up the inks better. Make sure to purchase cartridge paper in bulk as this helps reduce costs. Also look out for art stores mid and end of year paper sales you can save between 30 - 40% off paper at these sales.
These are just a few cost effective ways of how to handle manage your art budget whilst teaching the students lino prints. Feel free to add comments or more suggestions!