Frederick Walton invented linoleum, or lino, in England in 1860 flooring. While he intended it as flooring, artists love the medium because it is easy to carve for use in block prints and stamps. Small pieces are perfect for cutting custom stamps. Linoleum is inexpensive and readily available at hobby and art supply stores as well as online. Artists who like a more primitive, rugged look prefer this medium to rubber stamping carving pads, which are a bit easier to carve.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Artist linoleum
- Linoleum or woodcutting knives
- Carbon paper
- Wood block mount
- Stamping ink
- Art or stamp foam
- Wooden handle (optional)
After designing or deciding on an image for your lino stamp, you must transfer it onto the linoleum. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. You can pencil the image directly onto the lino or work with carbon paper and trace the picture onto the right side of the medium. You also can use a small overhead projector. However you decide to make the transfer, start by pencilling in major lines, adding details as necessary. Remember that the resulting stamp will be the reverse image.
Microwave lino for approximately 20 to 30 seconds on high to soften the medium, making it easier to cut. Carve with a linoleum knife, being sure to work on a protected surface. Knives intended for cutting soft wood also can be used. Begin by carving major lines that define the image.
Ink the in-progress stamp by pressing a small stamp ink pad to the surface of the lino. Make a print to reveal the result of the carving. Add details based on results. Continue to carve and stamp until the finished result is satisfactory.
Mount the finished lino stamp onto a wood stamp block with rubber cement. A thin layer of art or stamp foam added between the lino and the wood mount can aid in stamping clear images.
Carving Lino Cut Rubber Stamps
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