Packaging for my art prints.
I’ve written a page showing you how I package art prints for posting, go here to see how I do this.
My cutting tools of choice are made by the Swiss brand Pfeil. They occasionally come up for sale on eBay and it’s worth buying them second hand as, providing the blade is not actually broken, they can be sharpened, oiled and restored to good health whatever condition they are in on arrival.
There are some very cheap options for plastic handled tools with changeable blades but I recommend you buy shares in the Elastoplast company and plan a direct route to A&E before trying them.
Paper for the final product can be expensive so use the cheap stuff (a hundred weight from Amazon costs about a fiver) until you have the print coming out exactly as you would like it. Only then move to the good stuff. My paper of choice is Somerset or Fabriano in white or ivory. It is cheaper to buy big sheets of paper and tear them (tear not cut so that you can still see the layers in the paper) into the sizes that you need.
Caligo Safewash Relief Ink is ideal for me as it is high quality and long lasting but also washes out of all the places you manage to get it such as clothes, curtains, face and hair. I also like Linoldruck Inks from Germany.
There are a million types of cheap plastic tray which do the trick but I find this piece of salvaged glass to be the best surface for warming up the ink and getting an even spread on the roller:
The plastic rollers don’t always get a good even coverage so I recommend the soft rubber rollers.
Lino can be bought from all manner of art shops. Cass Art is nice and cheap but has a limited range. Jackson’s Art Supplies are also excellent as are Lawrence’s Art Supplies who also sell lino by the roll, which I haven’t tried yet but am thinking about. Like paper, if you buy large sheets of lino and cut them to the desired size you will save a lot of money. Just make sure you have a very sharp scalpel and a cutting board.
My press is from Ironbridge Framing . She is called Little Thumper. That’s the product label, I didn’t name her… You can use a baren, a cleaned ink roller, a flat spoon, even a rolling pin or your hands to press the prints but nothing’s quite as good, or as much fun, as a press.
Other Useful Linocut Resources
Metal rulers are useful if you need to cut a particularly straight line on the lino. If you use a plastic ruler you will end up with a wonky line in both your design and your ruler – plastic everywhere.
Scotch tape is invaluable for framing in particular but also holding paper in place for particularly tricky bits of printing.
Brushes can help remove any stray bits of discarded lino from the print plate before inking up. A soft scrubbing brush works well or for small prints toothbrushes do the trick.
I just love string. Also it can turn an ordinary room into a print drying studio.