Hello hello, Sam here. I’m going to chat through what a lino printing session is like in M.Y.O - it’s my favourite one to do and like all our classes, is very much beginner friendly. Guests are always very surprised and happy with what they make, which is magical to see!
What types of lino printing classes do M.Y.O do?
Currently, we do 2 types of lino printing classes - one is where you get to make 3-5 A4 prints (paper based) and the other is where you lino print your design multiple times onto a tote bag or tea towel (fabric based). Each uses a different type of lino and inks, hence 2 different classes.
See some lovely examples below.
What materials and equipment do I use in the class?
Lots! You'll use rulers, rubbers and pencils to help draw your designs onto layout paper, carving tools, rollers for applying ink, barens for applying pressure, masking tape, different colour inks, glass or plastic panels for inking up roller, scissors for cutting lino, aprons to ensure no ink gets on you. Oh and plasters if you're not careful and nick your finger with the carving tools!
We got nearly all our printmaking supplies from Intaglio Printmaker, which is just around the corner from the M.Y.O studio, check them out before you come!
How does the class work?
Both of the publicly listed classes are 2.5 hour classes (links to them at bottom of blog) and as we’re all about helping guests explore their creative side, the first 20-30 minutes of the class is about helping you choose / come up with a design that works with your A6 (1 quarter of an A4 page) piece of lino. We use A6 as gives you enough time to carve in the length of the class.
Sometimes guests bring their own designs which is cool, but a lot of times guests use some of the inspiration we provide in the studio or do a quick google (e.g. “hedgehog lino printing image”) to help them decide. Either is fine, don't worry!
The image is then sketched out onto a sheet layout paper (half way between normal paper and tracing paper), which is then transferred onto your lino block - we have a little technique for this that works a treat ;). It actually transfers the image onto the lino backwards - read on to find out why.
*Top tip* What you carve out of the lino will be the colour of the paper or tote bag / tea towel, what you don’t carve will catch the ink and have colour on it.
Once your image is on the lino block, we then show you the various carving tools that we have and help you choose the most suitable one, after which you’ll have about 1-1.5 hours (depending how quickly you choose your design) to carve away to your hearts content, which can be very relaxing.
Once carved out and happy, the lino is cleaned to remove any extra bits and then inked up (we always provide a choice of at least 3 colours to work with).
Once chosen ink applied correctly to the lino stamp, we do a test print, to see if any other parts of the image you have carved need to be tweaked or if you want to add some new features to it. You'll see when you print that the design that looked like it was in reverse magically comes out correctly!
Once the lino is put on the paper or fabric after being inked up, pressure needs to be applied to the back of it to push the ink onto the chosen surface - this can be done using a roller, back of a wooden spoon (I kid you not!) or with a bamboo or Speedball baren - in our experience the bamboo baren isn’t that effective, but the rest work well. If in doubt, keep applying good pressure along all of the lino piece with circular motions going up and down and side to side.
Then, peel back to reveal your print!
How much printing do I do and anything else I should know?
In the lino printing prints class you make 3-5 prints, with a choice of colours or in the lino printing onto fabric class you make 3-5 prints onto your chosen item - tote bag or tea towel.
After a little drying time, we then wrap up the prints or fabric for you and you’re good to go!
The class is always a lot of fun and the reveal once the inking and printing starts is always lovely to see. A great thing about this class also is that it is very forgiving! If you make what you think is a mistake, it adds context and texture to your piece of art, so is all good!
This class is also regularly hosted off-site as a way of bringing creativity to events and can be reduced to 1 hour if necessary, but 2.5 hours is a little more relaxed.
Often, guests come to make gifts for friends and family or art work for their office / home.
Who teaches the classes?
Jamie Temple hails from Scotland and has been working in printmaking for over 10 years and hosts a variety of printing based workshops all across London, in places like the Barbican, and recently returned from a month-long creative residency in Nigeria. The results he helps guests produce are insane! Jamie regularly takes on bespoke commissions also. See his creative blog for M.Y.O here.
He hosts our lino printing A4 prints and notebook making workshops.
Check out @TemplePrints, check out his shop on CargoCollective or e-mail Jamie@Temple-Prints.com.
Charley Ive has been hosting with M.Y.O since early 2018 and is an all round creative. She runs Scrawny Cat, a theatre company, which is currently running a show called What You Risk. It's a contemporary piece about women as active participants in history fighting to make their voices heard. Well worth watching! She also works in The National Theatre and is always dabbling with a new script or helping others on their theatre productions.
Charley hosts a wide range of our classes, from lino printing tote bags / tea towels to painted ceramics!
Check out @Chive26, @Scrawnycat and her creative blog.
When is the class on?
Don't be shy, come and try lino printing with us...