Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Proofing a Large Linoleum Block

The linoleum block
It can be frustration to proof a large linoleum block.  You have to ink the entire surface, make one or two pulls of the block and then, if you want to work the block more, you have to clean off the block which can be a mess. A simple solution is a very old fashioned method....take a rubbing of the block!

The example here is a block approximately 8 inches wide by 18 inches long.  Though I am sure most readers of this post have done rubbings of something or other (leaves for example), I will go over the basics.

First, you must always use the SIDE of the rubbing instrument, which could be a peeled crayon or, as pictured above, a graphite stick.  If you are using a crayon, choose a dark color because the contrast against the light paper helps you better see your cuts.  Use thin paper, such as newsprint.   Press firmly when taking the rubbing.  It is also not a bad idea to anchor the paper so it doesn't move all over when you are rubbing.  This is easily done by grabbing something from your studio or kitchen shelf and putting it on each corner of the paper to hold it in place (example: a can of ink, a stapler, a can of soup, whatever).

Taking a rubbing
/The other beauty of this method is if you only want to proof a small area of the block, then you save lots of time and effort by not having to apply and clean up ink.  Too see a finished version of this block, check the post above this one.  Happy proofing!