Relief Printmaking with Japanese Vinyl

As soon as we received our first batch of printmaking vinyl we were keen to start gouging into it. This vinyl cuts beautifully and smoothly and can achieve very fine detail.

There is a blue side and a green side, both of which can be used for carving. The centre of the vinyl is black – this makes it really easy to see where
you have carved and can help you visualise what your print will look like.

Here’s a project we have made to show you how to use our new vinyl:

A variety of tools can be used on the vinyl. For this print, we used a combination of multi-blade wooden handled tools, Japanese carving tools as well as a fine Pheil tool.

We drew our design on using a biro but you could transfer your image using Tracedown Paper or just freestyle it with the tools!

As you carve you will start to see the black layer underneath. This is very clear and will help you keep track of where you’ve carved. The surface of the
vinyl is very smooth so carving curves is a dream. The edges don’t crumble or snap off but there’s no stretch to distort your lines.

Our finished design is very clear. It’s easy to see any missed parts.

We used Cranfield water-based relief printing inks and rolled out a blue to pink graduation.

We printed onto the smooth side of Ho-Sho paper with a bamboo baren.

Our prints came out beautifully!

To try printing with vinyl yourself, you will need:

Meet the Maker: Will Dyke

I am a printmaker. I design and hand print limited edition woodcut and linocut prints. I also teach regularly, and exhibit.

How and where did you learn to print?

My father John Dyke was a children’s book illustrator, and my decision to become an artist was fairly natural. I went to Harrow College to study illustration,
and whilst there I was very fortunate to learn screenprint, lithography, etching, block printing etc. in the college’s extensive print studios.

Why printing?

I’ve always liked the ‘look’ of the various print disciplines, and the processes involved in creating prints appeals to my thoughtful and pragmatic nature.I
find the cutting ‘style’ of wood and linocut particularly attractive and enjoy each step of the process from design, through rendering, and printing.
As a selling artist, the affordability of prints (because of edition printing), shows my work to a wider audience.

Where do you work?

I work from my studio at home in Chichester, I also teach at various venues in the local area, classes and drop-in workshops.

Describe a typical day in your studio.

I usually have several print jobs on the go, at different stages of development; Whether a print is for myself, for exhibition, or commission, I plan the
design extensively before committing to the cutting stage. I will spend several days cutting the block, taking numerous proofs during development.
Depending on how many colour blocks I have in a design, the printing a few days to a week or more, I also love printing different colour blends. I
print my edition in batches, so a print can have a long working life.

I’m also a print tutor, so much of my time is setting up and facilitating workshops and classes. I’m committed to helping participants get the most out
of their time, and I am always on hand for technical support and individual development. I also appreciate the difficulties of working at home, so
I like to show do it yourself methods allowing one to print at home without extensive equipment. Of course the workshop is always there to return to
get the most out of the facilities and the printing vibe .

How long have you been printmaking?

I’ve been making art all my life, but printmaking in earnest since my late teens at art college.

What inspires you?

Books and stories inspire me. I grew up with books, my father illustrated them, and later I worked in bookshops. I create prints with an illustrators eye.
Much of my artwork is inspired by rural life and history, I’ve had a long relationship the Weald & Downland Museum, where I also teach, and you
will still see my stall at many of the annual events.

What is your favourite printmaking product (equipment, inks etc.)?

I would have to say that Caligo’s Safe Wash Printing Inks are essential for printing at home, they can be cleaned up easily without chemicals, but still
give you a glossy finished print.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

I’m always striving to improve, so I’m very often proud of my latest artwork. I’ve recently finished a print of Goodwood Racecourse viewed from the Trundle,
it’s slightly larger and expansive than my usual work, making me rethink my approach.

Where can we see your work? Where do you sell?

You can always see my work at one of my workshops. Myself and my wife organise the annual Printmakers’ Exhibition in the
Oxmarket Centre of Arts, where you can see my work alongside artwork by printmakers to my workshops
and West Dean College. You can also see my work online on my website and Folksy.

What will we be seeing from you and your work next?

I’m really looking forward to my new drop-in workshops at Handprinted,
the facilities are excellent. Creatively, I’m working on more illustrations, I’m also doing some experiments inspired by Japanese design, watch this

Do you have any advice for other printmakers and creatives?

Try not to over think the process, learning comes from doing, so don’t expect the perfect print straight away. For me preparation is everything, I never
skimp on the design aspect.

To see more of Will Dyke’s work, visit his website.

Reduction Lino Workshop with Ian Phillips

Over the weekend we had the pleasure of hosting a workshop taught by Ian Phillips. Ian creates
stunning linocuts from his home in Mid Wales.

Ian was in for two days teaching Reduction Linocut to a group of eager students! Ian Phillips is back with us in October for another of these incredible
workshops. For more information on his next class with us, click here.

Here is a selection of the beautiful work produced over the weekend:


See more of Ian’s own work on his website or find out more about his next workshop here.


Meet the Maker: Kat Lendacka

Hello. My name is Kat Lendacka and I live in Northampton with my husband, two girls and a whippet called Spot.

Describe your process.

It all starts as doodle, usually on loose pieces of paper! I have never been very good with sketch books! Quite often, rather than transferring the image
onto a lino with a carbon paper, I draw straight onto the lino with pencil and then a biro. The process of carving with tools seems to take the images
‘somewhere else’… I trust my carving tools more than my pen!

I started off and still design greeting cards which are all individually hand printed. As a family we often visit the beautiful Coton Manor Gardens in
Northamptonshire, where rare breed of chicken and ducks and flamingos run around freely. Not surprisingly, those feature not only on the cards but
also as an open and limited edition prints. Initially all my work was just one colour, black, occasionally with hand painted part (for example a cockerel’s
red comb). In the last few months, I have moved into using colour and into printing on fabric using different layers of colour. As well as linocutting,
I discovered rubber and its excellent qualities for original stationery and promotional material. Stamp making is turning out to be a helpful tool
to keep every single aspect of my work purely hand printed.

How and where did you learn to print?

I was born and grew up in Litomerice, a rather picturesque small town approximately 40 miles north of Prague in the Czech Republic. My first ever try at
linocutting was when I was about 13 years old with a retired art teacher and an academic painter, to whom I used to go for art lessons with several
other youngsters. I wish I liked the man more! I might have done a lot more linocutting! Next time I had a go was while a first year student of Graphic
Communications (Illustration) degree at Northampton University. This time, I fell in love! Linocut images appeared in many of my student graphic projects
as well as in the final major project.

Why printing?

I love the process.. I love the suspense of what happens when you lift the paper! So often you feel disappointed but still redo the same image three or
four times but still don’t get bored of it! I also feel a lot more confident and adept with my tools than with a pencil or a pen! By the way, the tools
are Czech made and called Serak. The best Christmas present ever.

Where do you work?

At home in my studio! Which is also a dining room and generally the ‘making’ room…. There is a small old conservatory next to it that holds my lovely
roller press. I do spend many hours sitting at the table. So does my whippet girl Spot, sleeping on a beanbag.

Describe a typical day in your studio.

After taking the children to school and Spot for a walk… My day starts with a big cup of coffee and a piece of chocolate. Radio 4 or Scandinavian crime
audiobook must also be on! I usually work on new ideas, cutting or printing till about 2pm. Then it is time for the social media, Facebook and Instagram, checking
orders in my Etsy Shop and my Website etc… Then it is school pick up time and children’s time. Most evenings, I return to the table, revisiting whatever I have been doing on that day…
and write ‘to do’ lists!

How long have you bee printmaking?

Full on, about 2 years.

What inspires you?

Everything! My children, my dog and my dogs doggy friends all playing, the countryside, Coton Manor Gardens, National Trust places, the morning walk, the
architecture, the seaside, Oxford, Pitt Rivers Museum, the giraffes and monkeys in a zoo…. I could go on!

What is your favourite printmaking product?

I like using water-based relief inks. Speedball fabric inks work really well. I love my new durathene roller. And my tools! Although, I would love to try Pheil tools as many printmakers are so smitten by them.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

Not really sure. I move on to new projects and tend to ‘forget’ or ‘get bored’ with the old ones a little. Lately, I was really happy with my 2 block colour
fox. It is a bit different, more realistic. Normally I tend to stylize my animals a little.

Where can we see your work? Where do you sell?

I have several pieces of work in the Itch Gallery in Oakham, Made Gallery in Uppingham, Boo Gallery in Stowe Ashby and 15 Collingwood in Northampton, but
lately, I concentrate more on my online shop, both from my Website and Etsy Shop.

What will we be seeing from Kat Lendacka next?

I am starting very small print workshop in my home studio. ‘Introduction to Linocut’ and ‘Make your own stamp’ day or evening sessions. You can find more
details on my Website.

Do you have any advice for other printmakers and creatives?

I don’t think there was never such a good time to start linocutting! So much easier to find various materials 🙂 See this [Handprinted] website. Also,
there is a lot of information and community on social media for example Linocut Friends on Facebook.