I got myself a lino cutting kit a while ago and wrote about making tiny signature stamps to mark your work here. It’s taken a while to get around to it, but I’ve finally had a proper go at making some larger designs and trying them out in porcelain.
I got this really neat tool and baren set. The baren is the base of the tool and is used for burnishing paper on to the lino cut during printing. The handle unscrews and with a collet, turns in to the cutting tool. Although I don't print with paper, I love the way all of the tools are stored inside the handle, and for five pounds, it’s a bargain!
Start by sketching your image on to the lino. I’ve drawn a stylised tree.
Then put together the cutting tool and carve out the pencil lines. It's easier to keep the sheet of lino whole while you carve, then trim the stamp out afterwards. A larger area means you have more to hold on to and lets you keep your hands well away from the blade. Keep an even pressure. Tilting the blade of the cutter alters the cutting depth so if you keep it nice and even through your cut, you will end up with a level line when you come to stamp.
I decided while cutting not to go around the edge so that when I trimmed the shape, I wouldn’t have to worry about the outside line.
When you’ve finished, lay the stamp face down on your clay and roll over it with an even pressure.
Here I’ve trimmed out some different shapes and designs from other stamps.
And some tiny ones for headpins.