Meet the Maker: Nick Morley (with giveaway!)

Nick Morley, aka Linocutboy, has been making linocuts for more than ten years. His works have appeared on book covers, magazines and chilli sauce labels
and his prints are collected worldwide. Nick writes a blog about linocut and his book Linocut
for Artists and Designers was published in June 2016 – continue to the bottom of the page for a chance to win a copy!

How and where did you learn to print?

I learnt the basics of etching and screenprinting at art school, then continued to take classes once I graduated. I got a lot of pointers from other artists
at East London Printmakers, where I was a member for ten years. With linocut, I mostly taught myself.

Why printing?

I find linocut a very versatile medium. People think of it as this graphic medium, resulting in slightly crude black and white designs, but in fact it
can be used in many different ways. You can create clean hard edges or expressive marks, layers of subtle transparent hues or strong bold colour. By
altering the way you ink and print a block you can lay down the ink in a flat, even surface or a mottled, textured finish. Every time I develop a print
I discover something new.

Is there a story behind the name Linocutboy?

Linocutboy was a pseudonym I used on the Guardian Soulmates dating website (where I met Catherine, my partner of nine years) and after that it just stuck.
It’s great for Google searches too!

Where do you work?

I work at Hello Print Studio, which is part of Resort Studios in Margate. I was a founder of Resort and I set up Hello Print Studio so I could run workshops
and so other artists and designers could use it to make prints. We have facilities for relief printing, etching, screenprint and letterpress. It’s
a fantastically creative space. I work surrounded by other artists and illustrators, as well as photographers, architects and film makers.

Describe a typical day in your studio.

Every day is different. I might be carving lino or printing, working on an illustration commission, teaching, packing up prints and books to send off or
sweeping the floor. I have a one year old son, Mica, so my time is divided into even more activities than before. I do try to draw every day and have
a walk, either on the beach or in the fields near my home.

How long have you been printmaking?

Twenty years. Wow, now I feel old!

What inspires you?

Old photos and posters, dusty museums, nature and nature documentaries, children’s books, living artists like Swoon and dead ones like Thomas Bewick and
Ulysse Aldrovandi.

What is your favourite printmaking product?

I use Caligo inks which are great for transparent layers of colour, and they wash up with water.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

Apart from my son, I would say my book, Linocut for Artists and Designers, which took three years to write.

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

My website, plus I’m very active on Instagram where I post lots of photos of my studio, work in progress and random insects I find. I sell through Material and For
Arts Sake in London, Frank in Whitstable, Fox and Spindle in Margate and Odd One Out in Hong Kong. And I have an Etsy shop. My book is available from

What will we be seeing from you next?

I’m planning to make a children’s book called Play with your Food.

Do you have any advice for other printmakers and creatives?

Keep at it, experiment, travel, have fun.

Enter our giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Nick Morley’s ‘Linocut’ book here!
draw will take place on the 31st October to reveal the winner!

If you’re interested in joining Nick Morley for his Multi-Block Lino Workshop, click here.


Fabric Printing with Vegetables!

This project is a quick and easy way to get stuck into printing. It’s brilliant for children and just as good for grown-ups too! If you’re stuck in a rut
with your printmaking, try this quick project to reignite your imagination and get those creative (vegetable) juices flowing.

Raid the fridge for a selection of vegetables and fruits – the weirder the shape, the better.

Slice the veggies in half to reveal the most interesting profile. We’re working with celery, gem lettuce, radishes, apple, pepper, potato, sweetcorn and
broccoli. After they’re been sliced, lay them face down on a few pieces of kitchen roll to remove some of the moisture.

Handprinted Fabric Paints are the perfect consistency for printing like this onto fabric. They’re washable when heat set with an iron too so we’re using them to print a tea
towel. We selected Lavender, Mushy Pea, Red, Plum and Kiwi.

Use a Paint Applicator Sponge to cover each vegetable with fabric paint.

Press the vegetable into the cloth. Using a padded surface such as a blanket stretched over a board or a Foam Printing Pad underneath your fabric can help achieve a more even print.

Try printing with different vegetables, switching and blending colours as you go to build up rows of prints.

The end of a bunch of celery can be sliced off and printed with.

Sweetcorn can be covered with fabric paint and rolled along the fabric.

Build up your rows of prints until you have a fully covered tea towel! When dry, iron the prints on a hot setting for a few minutes to set the paint and
hang on your oven door with pride.

For this easy printing project you will need:

Meet the Maker: Hannah Madden

Meet printmaker Hannah Madden!

Describe your process. 

I have a love of designing and block-printing repeat patterns by hand. One of my favourite medium is natural cotton fabric which I then use to create bespoke
works such as lampshades. I start with sketching ideas, mainly onto sheets of plain paper. Once I’m happy with my drawing I use the old fashioned way of turning it into a repeat pattern by cutting the design into quarters, sticking the opposing sides together,
filling in the gap/white space on the paper and then simply tracing the design onto the block. I tend to use the soft pink rubber material for a lot of my prints; it’s so soft and easy to carve into and a delight when printing directly onto
fabric. I use colourful water-based inks where I also offer a colour match service to create unique made to order drums; something totally unique.

How and where did you learn to print?

I studied art at college in the South East of England many moons ago, where among other things I dabbled in printmaking. It wasn’t until years later that
I picked up a sheet of lino and made a batch of Christmas cards for family and friends. My husband and I had just relocated to the Welsh/English border
and I found it a relaxing way to take my mind off feeling homesick. I started a blog and bought a couple of books on printmaking by the very inspiring
and talented Lotta Jansdotter. I instantly caught the bug for block-printing and started making floral notelets which I got a great response from and
eventually found enough courage to open an Etsy shop.

Why printing?

It’s such a therapeutic way of working. I totally switch off and immerse myself in it. You don’t need a great amount of space to get going. Even now with
a young family I can work around my children. Often working from the dining table I get to squeeze in a bit of printing while they play and sometimes
get some eager helping hands! If it has to be left, it’s relatively easy to be picked up again later. I enjoy the technique, the repetitiveness and
knowing that the items I make are all completely unique is incredibly rewarding.

Where do you work?

I’m very fortunate to have a garden room which I hope to be working from in the not so distant future. There’s lots of work to be done on it so for now
I use our living space and work from the dining table with boxes in the spare room which house my inks, tools & many a printing block!

Describe a typical day in your studio.

I have a few online shops which I sell through and as my work is largely made to order this gives me chance to plan my week around my two small children.
I tend to work on an order during nap time or preschool days, evenings and if they let me, when they are happy playing around me. One day I might focus
on the printing and then next I might be making the lampshade drums. Fueled by tea. Lots of tea!

How long have you been printmaking?

A little under ten years now. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of block-printing. Printing by hand has grabbed me and being able to adapt my designs into other
areas and not just cards has spurred on other ideas.

What inspires you?

I live in a beautiful part of the country which is very rural and green. My environment, I’m sure has a lot to do with my ideas, where a potential print
can start from, birds and plants often catch my eye when I’m out and about with my family. We often visit National Trust gardens; we have a few favourites
on our doorstep which is great for the kids to explore and enjoy. I always carry my camera where I take oodles of photos. Evenings are when I usually
start brainstorming what I’ve seen that day and get sketching patterns.

What products do you use? What product/tool could you not be without?

I love the soft block but I also love my small ink rollers which I’ve always used
and have never changed.

They are light weight and easy to handle for the size of block I use – perfect for me.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

My first repeat pattern called ‘Sea Holly’. It turned out better than I thought it would and is my best seller. I’ve had lovely customers contact me asking
me to make them lampshades and ceiling drums in their specific colour ways for their homes. I love printing all of my designs and the feeling of knowing
that others enjoy them, especially when they have had specific input is a real buzz for me.

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

Folksy, Etsy, Not on The High Street (NOTHS).

What will we be seeing from you next?

More textiles for the home. Many more lampshades!

Do you have any advice for other printmakers and creatives?

If you enjoy what you do, keep doing it. The more you work at it the more ideas come flooding in – get confident with your tools and materials, don’t be
afraid to challenge yourself. Other wonderful things can come from starting a hobby like printmaking.

See more of Hannah’s work on Folksy, Etsy and Not on the High Street or on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!


Printing an Easy Card Cut Collagraph

Collagraphy is a printing process in which a collaged plate is made and printed from.The different surfaces on the plate print varied tones and textures.
Natural materials, papers and mediums can be  added and are usually covered in a layer of shellac or varnish that is left to dry before printing.
Here’s our method for creating a really quick and easy card-cut collagraph that doesn’t require varnishing or waiting for glue to dry! This method
only requires mount board, tape and a scalpel to create different tones.

Draw your design onto a piece of mount board.

Use masking tape and parcel tape to create different tones. Parcel tape creates a wipe-clean surface that provides a white area when printed. Masking tape
creates a duller surface on which the ink can cling.

To create darker shapes, score into the mount board with a scalpel. Use the tip of the scalpel to tease up the corner of the top layer of mount board and
then peel away to reveal the rough textured insides. This will hold lots of ink and print heavily.

Create different tonal areas by peeling the tape away from the mount board in places as well as scoring and peeling away the mount board’s top layer.

Before you begin inking your plate, soak your paper. We used Kent: a 190gsm off-white semi-smooth printmaking paper, but lots of printmaking papers
will be suitable. Dampened paper helps to draw the ink from the plate and create a bold print. Lay the paper in a tray of water for a few minutes
whilst you prepare the plate.

To ink up your plate, use a stiff brush to work ink into the surface. We are using Akua Intaglio Inks which are soy-based, easy to clean up and don’t skin
over. You can work in different colours at this stage too!

Next, use a piece of scrim to work the ink into the plate whilst removing some of the excess. Wad the scrim up and wipe in a twisting motion.

Finally, use a piece of cloth to clean the plate, focusing particularly on any parcel tape that you wish to remain white when printed.

By now your paper will be soaked enough. Remove it from the tray and blot using blotting paper or clean j-cloths. The paper needs to be well blotted and
feel damp to the touch with no visible water on the surface – a little like it has been left out in the garden all night (but don’t do that…)

Place your plate face up on the etching press with your dampened paper on top. Cover with newsprint and finally blankets before putting through the press
on a fairly tight setting. If you don’t have access to a press (and aren’t local enough to come and use ours!), try printing with a baren or metal
spoon, taking care to not move the plate and producing a smudged print.

To make an easy card cut collagraph you will need:

  • Mount board
  • Scalpel
  • Cutting board
  • Masking tape
  • Parcel tape
  • Akua Intaglio Inks
  • Tray for soaking paper
  • Blotting paper or clean j-cloths
  • Paper to print on such as Kent
  • Scrim
  • Cloth
  • Stiff paintbrush