These are (currently) my tools, which I use for my linoprint artwork. A lot of the items are suitable for beginners, so if you’ve just started doing printmaking, read on!
My linocutters are from Essdee. It’s a simple set of a handle with interchangeable blades. My favourite blades to use are #1, #2 and #5. I’m dreaming of replacing this set with some beautiful, professional tools from Pfeil, and will probably be doing that little by little. As a beginners set, the Essdee cutters are good enough, but they are difficult to work with when it comes to smaller, detailed work.
BRAYERS & BARENS
I use a simple rubber roller to distrubute paint (this one from Essdee). These are easy to clean (mine’s looking a bit rough, sorry!) and nice to use. They have a lovely weight to them, and distribute paint evenly. The best thing to do is have rollers in different sizes – i use the one pictured most (10 cm), but I have 5 cm rollers as well, and will be purchasing larger ones in the future. I use a wooden spoon as a baren at the moment, and it’s cheap and works well!
I like to use easy cut/soft cut lino, since it is easy to carve, flexible and durable. My favorite is the Easy Carve, Dark Grey relief printing blocks. I find them to be sturdier than regular softcut (the light-coloured lino), meaning the carving tools don’t slip as easily.
I use the Caligo Safewash Relief Printing Inks. I love the quality of oil-based inks and prefer them to water-bases solutions. This paint is perfect, since it is also extremely easy to clean because of it’s safe wash formula. Despite being oil-based, it cleans off with soapy water – no harsh chemicals involved.
I use a mechanical pencil for drawing since the fine point leaves room for smaller details. If I need to remove some lino from around my image, I use a hobby knife, and for mixing paints I use these small, cheap paint spatulas. For paper I’m still experimenting with types, and can’t name a favourite yet. I use regular drawing paper (80 – 160 gsm) for pulling test prints, and I’m currently experimenting with different Fabriano papers for actual prints.
If you’re interested in seeing some of my work, check out my portfolio here.