Introduction to Linocut Workshop

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Date: 18/09/2019 - 18/09/2019
Time: 17:30 - 20:30
Location: Art & Craft Collective 93 Causewayside Edinburgh EH9 1QG
Phone: 0131 629 9123


Learn how to make a linocut print with one of our Collectivists, member of Edinburgh Printmakers, Masha Tiplady (Masha and the Prints).  In this workshop you will design, carve and print your own, single colour linocut piece – either as a card or art print for framing. Masha will teach you some basic techniques and by the end of the evening you will have enough knowledge to start printing independently at home, as well as a lovely handmade print!

How did linoleum printing come about?

Linoleum was created in the 1800s and used in the late 1800s as a floor covering. Traditional wood and metal blocks for printing were expensive and time consuming to create.

Linoleum was cheaper to produce, and offered an easier surface to carve than wood and metal, especially when heated. It wasn’t as tough as metal, and didn’t have the surface grains and patterns that made wood trickier to carve. As linoleum was a softer material, it was much quicker to achieve results with the new linocut technique.

So linoleum started out as a cheap alternative, and was often used by amateurs or as a teaching product in schools, according to the Printmaking Dictionary.

But when artists such as Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso started using linoleum in the early 1900s, its popularity grew.

Linocuts were popular among the German Expressionist and Russian Constructivist movements in the beginning of the 20th century, including German artist Gerd Arntz, who liked the stark contrasts the technique offered.

The Grosvenor School of Modern Art opened in London in 1925. Claude Flight taught linocut classes there, showing students how to produce multi-colour linocut prints by using different blocks for each colour. These British prints were highly influenced by cubism and Futurism. The First Exhibition of British Linocuts was curated by Flight in 1929.

Pablo Picasso Linocuts

In the late 1950s, Pablo Picasso advanced linocuts in fine art by developing the reductive printmaking technique.

Picasso’s first prints in the early 1950s were made up of bold and simple images. He liked the linocut technique as he thought it lent itself well to graphic posters, and he began experimenting with creating multiple colour prints using a single block.

His technique involved printing the lightest layer first, with each successive layer being carved away from the linoleum and printed over the last. This reductive technique meant it was impossible to reproduce the work afterwards so artists could create predetermined editions.

Thanks to Great North Art Show for the linocut history and definition

Read about two sets of Picasso linocuts acquired by The British Museum

Linocut printing in the modern day

The linocut technique of printing has risen and fallen in popularity over the years. With artists like Picasso and Matisse popularising and demonstrating the potential of the technique, its acceptance as a fine art practice was solidified. But as the printmaker and publishers collaborated to produce more complex images, it is practiced much more rarely nowadays.

Masha, our workshop tutor, in her own words:

“Born in Moscow, Russia, I’ve lived in Edinburgh for the last 15 years and now call it home. In the past, I’ve worked with different media such as pastels, charcoal and watercolours but with the arrival of our daughter and the (occasional) downtime that entailed I rediscovered the linoprint and totally fell in love with it.
To me, it’s a perfect medium, which combines a thorough planning and methodical labour-intensive process with an element of a complete surprise- you really don’t get to see the final result until you draw your picture on a bit of lino, then carve it, then ink it and roll it out onto a bit of paper. I also like the fact that linocut allows for pretty much endless possibilities of experimenting with colours, always with subtly different and often exciting results.
I find my inspiration in things that interest me: music, people, fashion – vintage fashion in particular: 50s-70s fashion and culture are my latest obsession and I’m currently working on recreating the aesthetics of old fashion magazines in linoprint.”

All materials and refreshments will be provided.

Four places are available at the workshop.