The linocut is a print making technique in which linoleum is incised, inked, and stamped onto a surface. As a floor covering, linoleum dates back to the mid-Nineteenth Century and is made from linseed oil, ground cork dust, pine rosin, wood flour, and other mineral fillers, and backed with hemp. The material was adopted by artists shortly thereafter and achieved legitimacy as an art form with Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Because linoleum has no grain, does not crack, and is easy to incise, it later became an ideal medium for home crafts and to introduce school children to print making. The basic materials required for linocut print making are linoleum or a similar medium, carving tools, inks, rollers, paper, and printing tools. Basic tools are also packaged as beginners’ kits and are available from suppliers at productpilot.com.
Traditional linoleum and vinyl blocks are manufactured specifically for print making and come in varieties according to the hardness of the surface. The choice of surface depends on the desired effect and the number of prints required. The most frequently used incising tools are gougers, which come in a V-shape and a U-shape. Specialty inks are manufactured for print making and are available in a water or oil base. Rollers, also called brayers, are constructed of soft and hard rubber, plastic, gelatine, and nitrile PVC. A harder roller surface will make the ink less likely to leak into the incisions and blur the design. Rollers come in a variety of widths to accommodate the different block sizes. Many different kinds of paper are suitable for print making, even newspaper, but for long lasting results, archival quality and acid–free papers are best.
Linocuts have retained their popularity because they are easy to produce and have a directness that appeals to children and beginner crafters. For advanced print makers, the medium is versatile and can achieve subtle effects. Buyers and traders of linocut supplies can find the latest tools and supplies from traders at productpilot.com.
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