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Craft Box Club – Lino Cut

Another week, another linocut! This time its from Craft Box Club (https://craftboxclub.co.uk/). It was interesting to compare the two linocut kits, especially as they were making the same thing; greetings cards.

Included in the box was:

  • Lino
  • Linocut blades
  • Wooden handle
  • Sponge
  • Blank cards and envelopes
  • Tracing paper
  • Paper template
  • Paint powder 

The tool itself (handle and blades) were the same as the Makerly kit I did the other week, however one of the selling points of Craft Box Club is to be as eco friendly as possible and Adam, the founder, puts in an admirable amount of effort to ensure that his kits meet that standard every month. Reading Adam’s blog I found out that the lino was a traditional biodegradable type, the ‘ink’ was made from earth paint which comes as a powder so can be packaged in paper, the sponge was made from wood fibres rather than plastic and the cards were made from recycled paper.

The process was exactly the same in terms of transferring the image to the lino using tracing paper. The image provided was a leafy border and there was a link to print out templates for the alphabet along with the link to the video tutorial. I couldn’t decide which letter to use on my cards as I wasn’t sure who I would send them to if I just chose one initial, so I decided to draw my own design for the centre of the card. I used the leafy border to inspire me and drew a songbird singing a love song as it’s so near to Valentine’s Day.

The cutting out took a long time as the design was quite intricate and there were also a lot of empty spaces to cut out as well, but once I was done it was time to print! The instructions said to keep the paint thick and only use about a teaspoon of water, but I found that the mixture was still quite dry and powdery so I added extra water. My first attempts at printing came out blobby and you couldn’t see the finer details of the design. I added small amounts of water to the paint mixture to try and get it to spread more nicely over the linocut, but I just couldn’t seem to get the consistency right to get a clear print.

In the end I decided to use the ink pad from the other linocut kit to try and get a clear print of my work (sorry Adam!). I just felt that I had spent so long cutting it out that I just wanted to see it in all it’s glory! The standard ink worked well and I printed several good looking cards with it. I hope it’s not too environmentally unfriendly!

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