Linocut has appeared quite recently in 1900s. Essentially, the artist carves an image into a linoleum (lino) block and what’s left of the block is inked and printed. It is a different linoleum from the one you can find in a hardware store! This technique bears a lot of similarities with woodblock printing.
Rather brown or light gray lino?
Linoleum blocks are quite soft with jute fabric on one side and a mix of linseed oil and resin on the other. They can be brown or light grey. 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.
What’s great with linocut is that it is a handmade process from A to Z. I draw the illustration, carve it and them manually print it using a homemade press.
Each linocut is unique because the appearance slightly changes according to the quantity of ink and the pressure applied.
Each range is composed of between 30 to 40 samples. All printings are numbered and stamped “Atelier Margolino”.
What is reduction linocut ?
Reduction prints use the same linoleum block to print all the colours in an image. First, a design is carved into a new linocut block and printed on a sheet of paper. Then, the process of carving and printing continues for each additional colour until the final layer is printed. This technique progressively destroys the block which then becomes unusable.
It is Picasso who originally used this technique which is more economic but much more risky!