Behind the Scenes – #001 — Lino Printing

von | Behind The Scenes

With the blog series »Behind the Scenes« I want to give you a little insight into my creative process. As a child, I was always fascinated by watching the making of books for movies like The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars or Jurassic Park. I wanted to know how the films were realized, what artistic commitment was necessary to create such masterpieces. Above all, I wanted to indirectly become part of those worlds myself.

In recent weeks and months, I was often asked what tools, materials, etc. I use for my lino prints.

As a designer and artist, I would like to give you an insight into my everyday life from time to time. For me, there is no more exciting profession.

Astronut — Designatelier für Design & Illustration – Andreas Stößel | Andreas Stoessel | Blogpost Behind The Scenes – Lino Printing

My carving tools by Pfeil, Switzerland

Today I would like to take you on a journey. A journey that goes back to the year 1860, where the history of linoleum printing, which is still known and practiced today, starts.

Linoleum was originally developed as a hard-wearing and relatively easy-to-maintain floor covering. At that time, no one thought of creating true works of art from it. Linoleum printing is a Relief Printing Process. But more about that later.

Do you know what is actually behind the sometimes slightly musty smelling mass? If not, here is a little insight into the ingredients of linoleum. Take linseed oil varnish (Lynoxin), cork flour, resin and color pigments (linoleum is available in brown, gray, green, etc.) and mix them. The result is a relatively strong but flexible substance that is pressed onto a jute fabric. In this way it is very durable and easy to work with. And „Tada,“ a linoleum printing block is born.

Astronut — Designatelier für Design & Illustration – Andreas Stößel | Andreas Stoessel | Blogpost Behind The Scenes – Lino Print Growth

Work in progress of »Growth« — a linocut I made in 2021.
Visit my shop to get a handmade, original lino print of it.

Linoleum printing first appeared in artistic form at the beginning of the 20th century. Franz Ciseh, a Viennese artist, used linoleum in the form of experimental works in school art education. Around 1910, linoleum printing established itself in the illustration and art scene. For example, book covers, posters, paintings, and other works were created using linoleum printing. So you see, lino printing is a printing technique with tradition with a seductive charm. Not everyone can say that about themselves.

Contrary to wood printing, which is realized in a similar way, linoleum is easier and faster to work with, and it is a bit cheaper. By the way, great artists like Roy Lichtenstein, Picasso and Matisse have also worked with linoleum printing. So it’s great company. 

But how exactly does linoleum printing work now?

In the coming blog posts I will give you a little insight into the different stages.

The next post will deal with the materials I use.
So make sure to stay tuned.

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