BLOCK PRINTING PROCESS
Block printing is a relief printing technique that uses a carved material (I use linoleum) to transfer ink onto fabric or paper. The block serves as a kind of stamp, with the final product a mirror image of the carving.
HERE'S A BRIEF OUTLINE OF THE PROCESS
Design the print — Before everything else, I create the design. Usually I draw a rough sketch, or the basic outlines of the idea I have for a new design and then I use Illustrator to finalise the design. When I am happy with the outcome I use carbon paper to transfer the mirror image of the design onto the linoleum surface
Carve the block — Using hand carving tools, I slowly start to carve away material. The parts that I remove are the ones that will not be printed, so I need to be very careful with the details and thin lines. This process takes time and is one of my favourite parts of the process because for me hand carving is a form of meditation and helps me clear my mind.
Ink the block — Now the exciting part is about to begin! I apply some printing ink to a flat surface and roll a brayer over it until I get a fine layer. Then, I roll the brayer directly over MY linoleum block until an even coat is applied.
Print the image — The image is finally ready to be printed by hand or with a press. The inked block is placed over the paper or the fabric is placed and is pressed until the ink is evenly applied. Then the block is removed and voila!