Posted on Leave a comment

Fabriano Unica Printmaking Paper

Our current favourite paper at Paper-works* for most printmaking is Fabriano Unica paper. It is made of 50% cotton, and has been specifically developed to be suitable for all printmaking techniques. The paper is a combination of the many years experience of the Fabriano paper mills and a collaboration with a group of artists from the Opificio della Rosa , an international centre dedicated to the awareness and spread of traditional and innovative methods of printmaking.

The artists from Opificio della Rosa have tested the paper with a host of printing, engraving and other techniques, testing it to its limits. The paper  has a weight of 250g/sqm and is economically priced and available in white and cream in three different sizes: 50cmx 70cm , 56cm x 76 cm and 70cm x 100cm.

Paper-works* has been successfully using Fabriano Unica for Linocut, Drypoint, Kitchen Litho and Cyanoprint.

Individual sheets of Fabriano Unica are available for purchase from paper-works* by those attending workshops or members open days.

Posted on Leave a comment

12 squares – Linocut mark making

Linocut mark making samples on drying line

Printing out Linocut samples

In preparation for our first linocut course we’ve been busy in the studio getting everything ready !

We have made some sample linocut plates each divided into 12 squares as a format to encourage the exploration of mark making in lino. We have prepared a couple of these ourselves and printed them out as examples.

To join us on an upcoming Linocut course see available dates.


Posted on Leave a comment

Linocut printing kit – make your own

Linocut Printing Kit

Essentials for your own linocut printing kit

Relief printing, particularly with lino, has the advantage that it is not essential to use the higher pressures that a mechanical press can apply hence you can make lino prints successfully with the minimum of materials and equipment. Here are our recommendations for the essentials for putting together a linocut printing kit.

We’ve priced our linocut printing kit up (December 2017) but if the exact price is important to you do check as prices may have changed. We’ve indicated potential suppliers names and websites . If you are ordering multiple items check which supplier has most of the items you want to avoid unnecessary delivery charges

Battleship grey lino

Battleship grey lino

Our favourite lino is the 3.2mm hessian backed battleship grey lino. It is available from art suppliers precut into handy sizes

A single 15cm x 10cm sheet costs £1.50 from Lawrence Art Supplies

Buying in bulk will reduce costs but be aware that lino will get harder and less easy to cut as it gets older. Lino can be softened by gently heating it with a hair drier before commencing to work on it.

Pfeil lino cut tools

Pfeil Linocut tools

There are a number of low cost suppliers of linocut tools but we would recommend going for some quality tools. The swiss made Pfeil tools definitely get the highest number of recommendations that we’ve come across. They are beautifully made and excellent to work with. They come in a very wide range of shapes and sizes, far too many to make it economical to ever think of buying the full set. Personally we find that a small V tool and a medium U tool are the two most useful ones . Your personal style will dictate which sizes are best for you. Our choice for staring out would be a 12/1 (v tool) and an 11/3 (U tool)

Pfeil 12/1 £17.30 from Jacksons
Pfeil 11/3 f£17.30 from Jacksons

Remember Pfeil tools are very sharp so take care and never cut towards you or your hand! Before you get excited and buy a wider range of pfeil tools remember to buy a sharpening stone so you can keep them all in peak condition.

Caligo Safewash relief ink

Caligo safe wash relief ink tube

Caligo safe wash ink gives excellent results and has the advantage that it is water washable. It is available in a wide range of colours but if you are sticking to just the essentials then get one. Nothing quite beats the simplicity of a black and white linocut print.

75ml Caligo safewash Relief ink black £5.75 ex VAT from Intaglio printmakers.

Fabriano unica paper

Pack of Fabriano unica paper

There are lots of great papers out there to try printing on . Currently we are enjoying using Fabriano Unica paper. It was specifically devised by the Italian Paper making company for a printing co-operative. It is a relatively low cost paper ( particularly in comparison with other Fabriano papers ) but we are enjoying the prints we are getting with it.

Fabrica Unica 50cm x70 cm 250g per sheet £0.72 ex VAT from Intaglio Printmaker

A spoon


A press is great for linocut printing but it isn’t essential . An old spoon is all you need. Place an additional protective sheet of paper over the back of your print and use the spoon to apply pressure evenly to the back of the print.

pair of stainless steel serving spoons £2.00 from Wilko

A glass kitchen cutting board

Glass worktop saver

We can’t think of a chopping board that we would less like to use for its intended purpose than a glass one, however ,they do make a very good surface to roll out ink on and cleaning up afterwards is simplicity itself. We bought ours from the homewares section in the local supermarket. If yours like ours has a stipple effect on one side just turn it over and use the smooth side.

Glass choppingboard/ worktop protector £4.99 from The range

Ink Roller

Ink roller

We use Speedball rollers. They are quite soft so they feel smooth and responsive to use . If your designs have very fine detail you may want to add a harder roller to your armoury but the speedball is a good place to start .

Speedball 100mm roller £10.50 ex VAT from Intaglio printmakers.

Vegetable oil

Vegetable oil in bottle

For cleaning up your roller , your lino cut and the glass chopping board just get yourself some of the cheapest vegetable oil on the supermarket shelves. dribble sparingly onto the inky surfaces to loosen and dilute the oil based ink so that you can efficiently wipe it clean with a combination of newspaper and paper kitchen roll

1 litre KTC pure sunflower oil £1 from Morrisons supermarket


Tracing paper

Tracing Paper

A pad of tracing paper is great for transferring an initial sketch design onto the lino. The act of turning over the tracing paper before rubbing over it with a pencil ensures that the image on the lino is reversed allowing your print to be the same way round as your original drawing. Particularly useful if you incorporate any text into your design!

30 sheets A4 tracing paper £2.00 from Wilko supermarket

Masking tape

Linocut kit component, Masking tape

We find we always have a roll of masking tape handy for everything from holding down artwork and tracing paper to setting up registration marks so that you can align your paper neatly over your lino when you are printing

3/4 inch masking tape £0.85p from Jacksons


Linocut Printing Kit Grand Total

The grand total is £63.91! It may not be the cheapest Linocut printing kit you could get but you may have some of the items already and you wont have compromised on quality where it counts.


Paper-works* holds regular introductory day courses for linocut printing .