There are different types of linoleum blocks. After several trials, I do prefer the brown one because it is thinner than the grey one, less tender but also less friable and more precise. It’s great because the grey block is more expensive than the brown one. Moreover, I’ve also tried to paint the block entirely in black before engraving (thanks to Chinese ink and water) and it gave me a chance to see all the contrasts while engraving.
I regularly try new types of papers. For now, I’ve used a “Canson Mix Media Imagine” paper which is quite thin (200g). At the moment, I do try a lighter paper: Clairefontaine Japan in Ivory (130g).
I’ve decided to start linocuts with high quality gouges in order to enjoy as much as possible. To do so, I’ve bought Pfeil gouges, a Swiss brand which conceives tools for linocuts and for wood. It is extremely easy to hold them thanks to their pear shape. Gouges come in different shapes (like “V” and “U”) and sizes depending on the job.
Sharp tools make all the difference, making it easier to carve fine details. I have decided to buy an Arkansas rock and mineral oil and will soon regularly try to sharp my tools following the advices of “Flexcut Slipstrop” kit.
I use two different types of ink: water-based ink to do a series of trial (Essdee brand) and an oil-based ink for my printings (Charbonel Aqua Wash). Water-based ink dries very quickly; however it often gives a less profound and precise appearance, especially in colours.
I originally bought two ink rollers but only use one which is a Japanese roller (16cm large).
After doing some tests using an old notary press as well as a hand equipped with a baren or a spoon, I commissioned the darling to make a homemade press for printing large formats like A3 or A2. We made this tool using a lawn roller that we filled with water. All installed on a removable table support!
After pulling my print with the press, I use a tool called a baren – the back of a wooden spoon works too – to make sure I have seamless rendering textures.
I find most of my tools on these two websites: