View Full Version : new work and linoleum cutter?

05-13-2003, 12:26 AM
Hello printmakers,
I'm finally crawling out of a huge pile of linoleum shavings to show my new prints. I'm working hard to build my portfolio. I have an art contest that I'm entering in this weekend at a children's book conference, so lots of new things to show off!

Does anyone have any tips on saving my fingers from my speedball lino cutter? I have the nastiest bump on my middle finger from cutting. I've been popping my linoleum into the microwave to soften it up, which helps a little and I'm using the golden linoleum, which is suppose to be softer. And I tape up my finger with a cotton ball on the bump where the cutter digs into my finger. Any tips, maybe I'm holding my cutter wrong? I hold it like a pencil.

Well anyways here is the latest.
5x7 hand-colored print on vellum

The Tooth-Fairy Cometh:

05-13-2003, 12:28 AM
Fertile Minds:

05-13-2003, 12:32 AM
The Librarian:

05-13-2003, 12:37 AM
Happy Birthday

05-13-2003, 12:41 AM
okay, enough torture, just one more...

I've finished 9 blocks in two weeks, yahoo! So of course I want to share them. Thanks for being such a supportive group. Now your turn, what is everyone else up to?

a promotional postcard for spot illustrations in magazines


05-13-2003, 03:26 PM
I love them! :clap:

I've never had any problems with the cutter ravaging my fingers . . . well, there was that one time I jabbed myself with the cutter on accident, but that was because my finger was in front of the cutter and when I cut, the cutter slipped up and hit my finger. I don't know what you're doing wrong, sorry. :/

05-14-2003, 06:48 AM
Love the spots!!!! :)

I used to hold my cutter more like, er, a spade I suppose. Thumb on top. That way the pressure for pushing was coming from my thumb and the cutter handle was cradled in my fingers. Make sense? I always had really horrible hard linoleum too until someone showed me better stuff! An artist in my building uses what she called japanese lino. Not sure it's actually japanese but it's blue and green on opposite sides and cuts like butter. It's amazing! Pricier but if you doing a lot I would think it's worth it.


05-14-2003, 09:33 AM
Does sound like a technique problem. My understanding from watching woodcarvers and from holding the speedball tool is the end of the handle should be resting in the palm of your hand. If you are holding it like a pencil then the end would be extended above your hand.

05-14-2003, 10:20 AM
Hi Timelady,
Is there on online source for this japanese lino, I did a search, but didn't find anything on it. I also use the rubber speedball pads and those are great, but not for real detailed work.

And yes, I think I am holding my cutter wrong, I'm afraid I'm going to have to try to do it the right way. I just lose some of the control that I have from holding it like a pencil. But to save my finger, I may just have to. Thanks for the input everyone.


05-15-2003, 05:42 PM
I'm looking for the lino now... hmm... no idea. But I did find a "magic spoon" for burnishing! HAHA!
By the way, if bamboo barens are really this expensive in the US you're being robbed. They're under a fiver here in the UK. The middle type on this page. Mine lasted about 3 years too. Dick Blick doesn't even seem to have a bamboo baren.

Anywho..I know my friend gets her blue lino at Intaglio in London. 62 Southwark Bridge Road. I ask her tomorrow if it has a real name.

Another thing I forgot to mention - it made a WORLD of difference when I actually bought a good quality handle and nibs. Honestly... and replaced the nibs often. Ah, it does make me miss it a bit. :)


05-15-2003, 06:46 PM
Wow...nice prints! Now I wish I had been more ambitious when I did lino for my beginning printmaking class and gone for more colors.

A lot of people in my class were using some cheap, Japanese thingies. They were gray; the really flexible ones that were easy to cut but didn't hold up well under a press, unfortunately.

I held my cutter with the end in the palm of my hand and I guess steered with my wrist for control. I found it much easier when holding a small hand towel wrapped around the cutter for comfort. If you really want to hold it like a pencil, you may be able to just cut some pencil cushions and pop them on there.

Good luck :) (and now I remember what happened to that towel I was missing)

05-22-2003, 08:45 PM
WOW! You have been busy:D These are just great. I especially love the librarian and the tooth fairy......lol This style of yours is eye catching, and I know kids would love them. Thank you for keeping us updated on your progress.

luvlorn has a good idea. I put the pencil cushions around my whistlers needle for etching. Much more comfortable than trying to hold that piece of steel in my hand.

Dave's in Florida
05-25-2003, 06:26 PM
Those lino prints are fabulous!

What ink did you use? Oil or acrylic?

(I'm rather new to printmaking and have some tubes of Speedball acrylic ink, but I think I should have purchased oil based inks for the richness.)

05-25-2003, 06:32 PM
Hi there,
I used speedball water based inks on vellum paper and hand-colored them with acrylics on the back of the vellum.
I don't highly recommend this brand of water based inks if you plan on hand coloring because they are not permanent.
I'm actually using speedball oil based inks for my next series.
I get all my supplies from www.dickblick.com

Thanks for the compliment.