Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I smell the smell of burning martyr......

Further to my last posting, where I extolled the virtues of cutting lino blocks with my engraving tools I have just one thing to say...DON'T! The lino seems to take the edge off the cutting surface and I have just spent ages and ages re-sharpening several of my burins. They were as blunt as a blunt thing and useless for engraving on wood. Unfortunately that leaves me halfway through cutting my crowd lino block and only relatively coarse lino tools to use instead. I shall persevere using lino tools, but it may show in the final print.

That said, this was always just going to be merely a 'try-out' and I didn't expect much from the tough old slice of lino I'm using. It's fair to say I shall definitely buy some fresh lino sometime soon and see where that takes me. I shall do my best to finish this first.

Another little trial I'm having to bear is that the lino is easier to work when it's warm and although the radiator's great for that, the heating isn't on all the time, so I've been using a hairdrier. All well and good; but it does make me feel hot, having to heat the lino every ten/fifteen minutes or so, it affects a lady at my time of life who's already a martyr to hot flushes. Suffer for my art......? ;-)

7 comments:

Gretel said...

I've got some easy cut lino (black stuff) which I haven't had time to try yet, but a friend says it cuts like butter - I am naturally suspicious, as I wonder how it will print, compared to old-skool lino.

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Have you tried warming the lino with your hot flashes? Sympathies for dulled tools, at least they didn't break. I got a lovely woodblock tool that was supposed to make perfect circles and broke it right away.

David H said...

I'm sorry to hear about the engraving tools. Must try the easy-cut lino that Gretel mentions... perhaps it's just regular lino with the cork granules more finely ground -- after all they are behind all that dulling and the broken edges.

Jan said...

Sue, an ordinary (disposable) scalpel such as the Swan Morton type I use is good for lino, I tried it out and it worked pretty well, and doesn't have to be sharpened. I was using a grey lino and couldn't see the lines I had cut very well though. Old eyes I guess. You can cut quite thin lines if you give it a bit of a shoulder for support.

Jan said...

Another suggestion, how about a hot water bottle for the lino? At least it would be cosy....

Sue said...

Thanks for the suggestions, folks!
Gretel, I will definitely try the easy-cut stuff. Will post the results when I do.
Diana, LOL, yes, that would be a good work-around! I wish!
David, I had no idea lino was so prone to dull edges, just goes to show printmaking is a constant learning curve.
Jan, a hottie! What a good idea! I might check out the swann morton idea, too, but after almost cutting through a thumb years ago, trying to cut thick card with a SM surgical scalpel, I worry a bit ! LOL!

Ellen Shipley said...

;-> Work those hot flashes! I'm always amused by the topic of hot flashes, as I seem to have cold flashes. I don't know, I think I'd rather be on a desert isle than an shivering on the arctic tundra.