Printing with “Easy-Carve Linoleum Blocks”

by okayart

"Pattern I", linocut, 2013

“Pattern I”, linocut, 2013

Above is an experiment.  I don’t often work with patterns (or 100% abstract patterns at least) but I’ve been in the “let’s try something new” mode for the past few weeks.  This is partly due to reading my horoscope in C-ville Weekly, which is always entertaining because usually my life ends up being far removed from whatever is predicted.  Anyway, I guess all of the hints that there’s going to be a significant change just around the bend, or that I should try reinventing myself because of the position of Mercury or whatever have finally gotten to me!

The other factor in my experimental mode is much more understandable.  I love to buy my art supplies locally, through Staunton Art Supply (check them out at  I usually end up chatting about my art projects with owner and fellow artist Leslie Banta, and Leslie always has good recommendations when it come to new materials.  Recently, she’d steered me towards Easy-Carve Linoleum Blocks.  Easy-Carve is a very pliable linoleum in a pleasant neutral gray color.  Initially, I was wary because I’ve tried other kinds of “easy” linoleum before and found them too stringy or strangely crumbly.  This time, however, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I like working with Easy-Carve.  It’s easy to cut, and VERY easy to print (just press down with your palm à la rubber stamp.  You don’t even have to to mount it if you don’t want to, though mounting may make it even easier to print).

Below is a tiny sample piece that I cut into what I thought was going to be a pebble pattern, just for fun.

The block

The block

Then, after printing it, I realized that this was much more of an animal print, so in the print at the beginning of this post, I took my finger and smeared the wet ink outwards around the edges to give a softer, animal hide effect.  You might also notice that the print is a lot larger than the block; I printed the block four times, rotating it 180 degrees in the top right and bottom left-hand corners.

Perhaps more experimentation is to come….