Thursday, 19 December 2013

Inspired by the Past

This week I found some lino-cuts my dad had made years ago at Christmas time to produce his own Christmas cards from. (Now you know where I get my card making love from.) A lino-cut is an image that is carved into linoleum, then inked and pressed onto paper (or I'm pretty sure it would work on fabric too). It's like a stamp which are widely available these days in an abundance of different designs. I have many commercial stamps as well but there is something about a home made unique design that I love. However, a stamp is inked with an ink pad and a lino-cut is inked with printing ink that is rolled onto it. It's a little messier than an ink pad but it stays wet longer to give you time to ink the whole lino-cut and get it down on paper before it drys. Lino-cuts tend to be bigger than stamps.

Images can be carved into a number of different materials. One is the linoleum which is soft enough to carve into but still rigid enough to ink and print larger images. Another is a very soft rubber that comes in sheets. This is easy to carve but also much easier to make a mistake in if your carving tool slips and if you try to make a larger image, it is quite floppy and hard to print. The rubber is easy to cut into smaller sizes for smaller stamps. I've also made tiny stamps out of wine bottle corks which are perfect to use with a stamp pad.

This week when I was working in a journal, I wanted to stamp the year on a page, so I carved myself a set of numbers from the rubber. When doing numbers or letters, I have to remember to carve them backwards so when they are printed they come out the right way.

When the numbers worked out well, I decided to try some other designs to use in my journals. One was a flower design as above and the other a swirl design. I have lots of rubber left over. Any suggestions as to what I should carve next?


  1. HI R...I think you should make letters. Then you can use the letters and numbers to make flash cards for the grandkids. For instance you could make a card with the letter 'a' on it and a drawing of an apple. Or it can be stamped on fabric and you could do an applique of an my brain is going! Exciting stuff!!

  2. Great idea, Stien, that project will keep me busy for a while!