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Testing alternatives carving materials for lino printing

Testing alternative carving materials for lino printing

I think I am officially addicted to lino printing ! As surfaces to carve can become quite costly and as I am thinking of working on bigger scale prints., I have been looking for alternative materials to use for carving and printing.

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I did a bit of research and found artists that were successfully carving on marmoleum (a flooring linoleum), plywood, MDF and pan shower lining.

MDF can be used a s a surface for wood carving

I did not try Marmoleum and plywood yet but tried MDF.

Plywood

This artist Søren Bjælde makes wonderful prints from plywood with many plates and colors, you can watch videos on his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCObvZ8ukdlii4k-62Ju7Zxg

MDF

MDF is a very pleasant surface to carve but I wasn’t happy with the precision of lines I could get, even after brushing a few layers of shellac. I also tried coating the MDF with GAC 100 but found that it was becoming a bit too hard and slippery to carve.

lines are not precise enough when printing with MDF

Lines were not precise enough for what I want to do when printing with MDF

Pan Shower liner

I also tried pan shower liner mounted on board, and so far this is my favourite alternative to linoleum or vinyl plates. Pan shower liner is made of PVC, so a material quite similar to the vinyl plates you can buy in art supplies store.

pan shower liner works well as a carving surface for relief printing.

You can find shower pan liner at home hardware stores.

you can easily cut shower pan liner with a pair of scissors

Pan shower liner is easy to cut with scissors.

The liner is only 40 mm thick so not thick enough to use by itself, so you have to mount it on board. I mounted it the same way I am mounting watercolor paper on board.

You might also be interested in : Mounting watercolor paper on board

pan shower liner mounted on board

This is the pan shower liner once mounted on board. Once mounted on a hard surface like MDF, the pan shower liner is very easy to cut and makes very clean lines.

pan shower liner is very easy to carve

Pan shower liner is very easy to carve. My only disappointment, with pan shower liner is that the plastic smell is pretty strong, to the point of being too much if you leave the whole liner out in your studio. It is manageable if you work on a small surface.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.

 


Speedball Linoleum Cutters

Speedball Linoleum Cutters are made of the finest quality steel with long lasting cutting edges. They are made of quality steel for long lasting cutting edges.

While carving you will probably expose some of the MDF underneath, I recommend you apply a layer of GAC 100 before printing to seal the wood.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.


Golden GAC Acrylic Polymer Mediums

Golden GAC Acrylic Polymer Mediums

Golden’s GAC Mediums are the raw materials from which other acrylic mediums are created. Use them to modify the working characteristics and appearance of Golden Acrylics and other acrylic paints. – GAC 100: Universal Acrylic Polymer

carving a big plate for linoprinting with pan shower liner

Here is a video of me hand printing a large 24 x 24 inches tree cookie from a carving that was done on pan shower liner mounted on MDF.

I used Arches watercolor paper and Caligo safe wash ink for this print.

drying the prints in the studio

 

tree cookie print by North Vancouver print maker sandrine pelissier

Have you tried alternative materials to linoleum or vinyl ? Do you want to share your results? (You can post pictures in the comments)

Testing alternative carving materials for lino printing
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