How-To On Carving Linoblocks
As an artist on occasion I’m asked “How do you create your art?” And enthusiastically I’ll try to explain how it’s done but often, without visual cues, the process is a bit lost to the listener if I don’t have my tools and materials on hand. So here, I decided to do a short post on how I craft my linoblock carvings. For this demo I’ll be going through the steps on how I made the African Adinkra symbol for the power of love, “Odo Nnyew Fie Kwan”.
1. First I draw out the design on the linoleum block and since I don’t intend on using this for making prints in the usual custom of printmaking, I’m not concerned with reversing it.
2. Next I take my Speedball cutter to trace the outline. The Speedball cutter comes with six gouges that provides various forms and shapes for cutting into the linoblock. Using the #6 gouge I trace my design so that the cut can provide a stopping point for when I start removing the linoleum. Next I use the #2 gouge to trace the outline again. Once I’ve finished that I take the #5 gouge and start removing the rest of the linoleum from around the design.
3. With all of the linoleum removed, my design is ready for some color. For color I use Speedball Super Pigmented Acrylic, painting it on with a brush evenly for a strong black color.
4. Once the ink has dried I finish my carving off with a high gloss varnish to give the design a wood-like shine but also to give it a permanent non-removable protection from dust and moisture.
5. Last but not least I affix a sawtooth hanger to the back for easy wall hanging.
And there you have it. A brief demo on how I carve linoblocks. Be sure to check out my available carvings at: http://worldoflildots.storenvy.com