Where she’s on a roll with printmaking!

August 10, 2013

Do you remember when I wrote the post about cutting my first linocut a few days ago? I pondered about better tools and better equipment, and I emailed the Oxford Printmakers Cooperative and got a lovely email back from instructor Catriona Brodribb inviting me to come round this Saturday for a look and a play with some tools. How could I resist?

Oxford on a summer Saturday is a nightmare and is completely stuffed with tourists on the weekends, and the Printmakers building was right thru the heart of tourist central and down High street! But then the five mile walk from the park and ride did afford me a lovely hot chocolate from Costa coffee and a butter croissant from Pret a Manger, so crowd surfing while sipping a sugary hot chocolate and munching a buttery croissant was just about tolerable. 🙂 (I may have accidentally photobombed a few holiday shots though…lol)

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I met Catriona at the studio and we talked for a long time and she answered a lot of questions I had. I showed her my work up to date, and, even though students are required to take a mandatory beginner’s course, she felt I had done enough work and knew enough technique that I could just build on my knowledge without a course.

I felt really wonderful about that.

Catriona explained the carving tools and let me use them all to see which ones felt the best to my hands.

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She gave me a small piece of lino…far superior to the lino I bought at the art store, and I sketched a small simple field mouse on a scrap paper and then onto the lino.

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As soon as I made the first cut with these superior tools and as soon as I found my rhythm, it was such a pleasure to carve this design.

These tools are fantastically smooth and sharp and wonderful to work with. I much preferred this lino to the art store lino, but there is a trick to the art store lino. Apparently it works a bit like butter and must be heated. Many artists work this lino on a heating pad! (Tricks of the trade)

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I carved this little field mouse and as I carved the design changed somewhat from what my original idea was, but isn’t that the way it always is?

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When I thought I was finished, and when I used and tried all the tools available, I decided that these woodcarving tools felt good in my hands and were manoeuvrable enough for me to make fine cuts with. These, and a very expensive small wedge shaped tool from Japan.

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By this time two hours had simply vanished and I decided I had to get back to the car and out of Oxford before I hit rush hour and so thanked Catriona for her help and headed back.

When I got home I couldn’t wait to run upstairs to my studio and ink this little linocut to see what I got.

And here is my little field mouse overlooking the Oxfordshire fields!

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I’m so excited to have so much more knowledge and a friend who I can ask more questions of. If anyone has any questions about linocuts, I know so much more than before and would be happy to tell all, and, if I don’t know I’ll find out. 🙂

Annie Sloan's home store in Oxford
How I learned to batik...AKA Zen and the art of batik

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11 Comments

  • Reply michellepond August 10, 2013 at 11:37 am

    What a great opportunity and you certainly made the most out of it. Love the mouse!

    • Reply Veronica August 10, 2013 at 9:17 pm

      Thank you Michelle and thank you for sending me the images of yours. I’m having a look this morning. 🙂

  • Reply Linda G Hatton August 10, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Have I told you how much I LOVE this??? I do, I do!!!

    • Reply Veronica August 10, 2013 at 9:16 pm

      I’m so glad you do Linda, and you’re welcome to use the image any time you like. 🙂

  • Reply kris swanguarin August 10, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    This is gorgeous. How about commissions? These would make great book covers.

    • Reply Veronica August 10, 2013 at 9:16 pm

      Kris, funny you should mention that. 🙂 Yesterday I bought an Evelyn Waugh book, 1947 edition of a Penguin classic, with the loveliest lino print on the cover. I’d be very happy to design you a cover any day. 🙂

  • Reply julochka August 11, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    that looks awesome! i so wish there was such a place near me! waah!!!

    • Reply Veronica August 11, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      Ah, too bad Julie. Maybe you could but a printmaker near by for a little info. But you’re so clever and this isn’t very hard and, between the two of us, I bet we can get all the answers anyway. You should give it a try. If you want me to send you the link to the tools I ordered from the London store Intaglio I’d be happy to. They only cost £10 for five and seem to have really good quality steel. 🙂

  • Reply Sara v August 12, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Oh my goodness!! That is so wonderful and especially all the serendipity and fun–I was right there with you–drawing/art can be such a meditation–hours fly and you are in your happiest of spaces–so glad that you got to have such a delightful time 🙂

    • Reply Veronica August 12, 2013 at 11:44 pm

      I’m heading back there today to explore papers. I’m so lucky! 🙂 Will report later. 🙂

  • Reply Whispers and Blissful Ignorance | rarasaur October 16, 2013 at 1:47 am

    […] are curious about how Veronica made these, check out her posts on her adventures in printmaking: http://veronicaroth.com/where-shes-on-a-roll-with-printmaking/ and […]

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