Printing is the old rock ‘n’ roll

Like many teenagers, I was a bit morbid in my formative years, but never a goth. These days I have a more easy-going relationship with the inevitability of death and I love both the style and the humour of the medieval Dance of Death imagery.

Today I attended a lino-cut workshop at Site Gallery, Sheffield, UK, organised by COPY in residence and given by James Green Printworks. I’ve always loved woodcut prints and lino-cut is a relatively easy but high-quality technique that can produce similar results.

My original drawing, enlarged, then transferred to lino with carbon paper.

I decided to re-animate one of my cartoon inventions from the early 1990’s, an upbeat memento mori called Stalky Ringbits. My original drawing is ink on paper, scanned, enlarged on computer and printed to the correct size.

Three stages in the Lino cut.

I have done lino-cut once before, at school when I was 11 years old, and I don’t know why I’ve never done it since. There is something very special about making your own prints and the fragile physicality of it gives a pleasure not available in the digital world. You end up with many unpredictable artifacts and mistakes that positively contribute to the quality of the print.

The final print.

I’m hooked. Stay tuned for more prints from Richard Bolam, Stalky Ringbits and the Black Daffodil Press.

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