Block Printing

One artistic endeavor I keep coming back to is carving linoleum blocks and printing with them.  It is just very satisfying and easy to carve a block (really a  1/4″ thick sheet of eraser-like material; in a pinch, it works fine to erase number 2 pencil marks) and print an image over and over again.  You feel like you are accomplishing so much.

Last week I did the pastel on a printed piece of linen.  I absolutely loved the fabric (it was a sample that an interior designer was throwing out years ago), yardage of which I am sure cost a fortune and I only had enough to cover the one board!  So, being confident of my ability to do anything (a personality trait that fails me miserably at times), I decided that I could block print linen myself. 

So, using the tools of the trade,tools-of-the-trade

I created some lino blocks.   The large leaf image is based on a portion of a William Morris print.  He did the same thing with wood blocks to print his fabrics.  (“Same thing” is a slight hugh exaggeration.  Google William Morris, you will be impressed if you don’t know all about him already!)

Here are the results of my carving and



I was so excited about the results that I decided to show them to you before I painted on them.  I thought it quite worth the mess of red oil ink I had all over the place.  Ask Solomon (a little boy visiting his auntie in the neighborhood) how messy it is, he came knocking at the door in the midst of my printing and saw my red hands.  He asked, “Just exactly what are you doing?”  And although I had never met him before, he immediately wanted to come in and help me.  Apparently just the right kind of messiness for a very bored young boy!



3 Responses to “Block Printing”

  1. April Harwood Says:

    Oh, I like them just like they are…but can’t wait to see what you do next!

  2. Karen Owen Says:

    I love these! I enjoy your writing on the process behind your creations.

  3. Sonya Chasey Says:

    Hello Lauren
    These look beautiful. I was just thinking how they reminded me of prints of the beginning of last century & then I saw you based part of it on a William Morris leaf! What did you use for the other blocks? I think you’ve made interesting arrangements . I think one of the fun things with printing is all the variable images you can make just from recombination.
    It reminds me that last Christmas (for Christmas cards)I collected oak leaves but to use as templates for stencils.

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