Lino cut Christmas cards
OK, so every year I try to make my own cards, but run out of steam half way through my list and end up buying the rest. I can’t help feeling bad for people whose names fall into the second half of the alphabet (maybe they’re secretly relieved not to get my home made beauties, but I shall never know).
This year my cunning plan was to make lino prints, because a) I love the way they look and b) I thought I could run off a huge batch without giving myself a nervous breakdown. Also, I have fond memories of doing these at school. I bought a lino tool for with some different heads for a few pounds and an A5 sized piece of lino. I also got a roller and some lino ink. Apart from that, all you need is paper, a sheet of glass, some parcel tape, a rolling pin and your tetanus jabs up to date. No, seriously, CHECK. Turns out I had a complete re-run of school days and stabbed myself in the hand almost instantly. My jabs are up to date these days though, so, phew.
Despite this small setback, the rest of the lino carving went surprisingly well. I drew my design on the lino in pencil, and then carved out the bits I wanted to stay white. I chose a folk art motif which was pretty easy to do, and if my birdy looks more like an enormous killer robot bird then, hey, it’s a naive style. Right? I rollered the dark red oil based ink out onto a piece of glass (pinched from a picture frame for the purpose, later cleaned and replaced) and made sure the ink was thick enough to be a bit tacky before rollering the lino cut itself. I placed the paper on the wet lino (copy paper worked fine) and used a rolling pin to press it down super firmly. Then voila! With a flourish I pulled off my first print! And my second, and my third… Rollering the lino again each time, and hanging the wet prints up on a clothes line until they were dry. Once they’d dried (longer than you think with oil based paints) I trimmed them down and mounted them onto folded cards. Much more fun than usual and I think I might make it to the end of my address book this year. Won’t they be surprised!