This is something I tried at home, a few days after I got home from Mijas (see the various posts all about that here: http://lizziemade.blogspot.com/search/label/Andalucian%20Adventure !)
I wanted to see if I could make nice prints, using the equipment I already have to hand.
I started with a photo from a magazine story... I loved the dancer's feet and the reflections in the studio floor, as if she was dancing on water. I made a tracing-sketch of this.
I transferred the tracing to a piece of my soft lino and cut it out with my lino cutters. This photo shows the plate inked up, after making my first test print.
The card surround is to help me line up my paper when printing, so I can get the print straight and in the middle of the sheet.
I have five colours of water-based printing inks, in tubes - white, black, crimson-red, ultramarine and silver. I decided to print with a pink colour, mixed from my red and white. Here's my glass inking sheet (it was once a kitchen chopping board - about a zillion years ago, before I realised how useful it could be in my craft room!)
I found that nice little roller at the local art shop, in their "reduced" basket. It was originally quite expensive, so I was really pleased to pick it up very cheaply. The other roller I have came with my "Letterpress" set, for my die-cutter. It's really not very good - a bit rubbish in fact. This roller is okay - I like it, "it'll do" as they say!
Of course, when choosing the printing colour, I didn't really think about how tricky it is to photograph pinks... ah well!
The first test - printed into my sketchbook. I printed this like a stamp - just laying the plate on top and pressing hard. I wanted to see what it came out like.
My first "proper" print. The paper was laid on top, using my registration guide. I burnished the back of the paper with my favourite bone folder. It came out okay in places, but more work needed.
This is the second attempt at burnishing on the back of the paper. It came out better, but not brilliant.
I had a sheet of Murano art paper, in a sort of rosy-beige marled finish. So, I thought it would be good to try printing on this. I really like the effect of the beige paper showing through where I cut the lino. Because the ink is quite pale, it gives a great contrast.
The printing is still a bit soggy though...
I had an idea. I already have a "letterpress" kit for my die-cutting machine, which prints quite nicely. I wondered if I could come up with a combination of base-plates, which would allow me to put the linocut plate and paper through the machine, as if it was a tiny printing press.
The die-cutter doesn't have any facility to alter the distance between the rollers; the only way to increase or decrease pressure, is to use different thicknesses of base-plates, with little card shims in between, if a tiny adjustment is needed. And, if the lino plate was too thick, it could break my machine!
After a bit of messing around and experimenting, I did manage to make some prints.
The first attempt. Not sure about this. I think the ink had dried a bit by this point, which made it less smooth.
You can see the "dent" round the bottom edge of the print though, from where it went through the "press".
The second effort, which isn't bad actually. It has printed a bit more evenly. It's not so easy to see these prints, because I chose pink as my print colour!
A second try with the rose-beige paper. This one did come out quite nicely. I think I could do something more with this "printing press" idea. At least I could make small prints in this way, until I can get a "proper" press!
I think that, on the whole, this was quite a successful experiment. One or two of the prints I made are really not bad. I may have another try soon. I may also get some sort of medium to mix with the inks, to see if I can stop them drying out so fast and making the prints patchy. Or else, I will try dampened paper. I'll maybe buy some other ink colours too, if I can get small tubes - no point buying large amounts at this stage. Not until I have some more skills built up!
It's all experimenting and learning - it'll do me good!