Or on how to print a carved picture from a linoleum block ?

A mini workshop on how to translated a carved surface into a piece of paper.

Sam cuts his linoleum block

What do we need ?

  • – printing ink = a sticky ‘paint’ with an ‘honey’ like texture [ in this case black]
  • – a printing roller = like a pastry roller with a ‘rubbery’ like surface
  • – paper = to transfer from the block the image
  • – a printing press = a device that allows to create pressure.

Sam inks his linoleum block


A little bit of printing ink is spread evenly on top of a piece of glass = like a strip of tick color.

The printing roller go back and forth over it until this strip is spread evenly on the glass to make a patch – it is necessary to work with energy and regular strokes.

The goal is not so much to spread ‘ink’ onto glass but rather to achieve having a roller very evenly covered with ‘ink’. Why? Because then we are able to use this inked roller to transfer it’s ink into the ‘tops’ of the linoleum block – again and again, the transfer needs to be very even .

A successful inking requires that not a big lump of ink be transferred but rather thin layers, [a building up of thin layers]  be created in order not to loose fine engraved details or texture.

When the block is ready we can than bring it on top of the ‘bed’ of a printing press, place a paper on top of it. The press mechanism allows to ‘sandwich’ the paper and the inked block, which results into transferring the ink of the block on to the paper.

Even the principle is rather easy to understand, the process is way more difficult to achieve correctly. it takes some practice of course, but rather observation of perfecting every steps.

Happy printing


  ?  photographs and texts © copyright Raymond Verdaguer, 2013.


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