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  • Clare Morgan

Is it original art?

So it’s becoming really popular right now, but have you wondered what Lino printing even is?

As a traditional printmaker in a digital world, it’s to be expected that there’s some confusion over this mysterious process called linocut and sometimes people think It is a reproduction of a piece of art. I wanted to reveal a bit more about the process and its benefits.

Each lino print is in fact an original piece of art, it is surprisingly very tactile; a layer of ink lies on the surface of beautiful slightly transparent paper. Lino (short for linoleum) was originally used for flooring because of its durable, flexible and water-resistant qualities, German expressionists first carved lino in 1905 as a cheaper and easier alternative to using wood and metal to make printmaking plates.

The surface is carved with tools to remove areas so that when a layer of ink is applied which will only coat the uncarved areas, this layer of ink will then be transferred to paper. This process was embraced by Picasso and Matisse and is growing in popularity.

Lino prints can be hand-pulled, this means that a tool called a baren is used to apply pressure to the back of the paper to transfer the ink from the plate. When I create multi-layered colour prints I repeat this process many times on the same piece of paper having removed more of the plate, or by adding different plates.

Original prints are often limited edition, meaning that once the artist has printed the number identified on the bottom of the print it can never be printed the same way again. A limited-edition of 10 creates more rarity than 100. You may also see open editions, these are usually less costly but there is no maximum number the artist can print. Although even with this in mind you should always choose art because you love it!

Because printmakers work in multiples it means that original artwork is more affordable than its other fine art counterparts, and unlike reproductions of artworks, it keeps its value.

If you want to know more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or check out my Instagram for process videos and tutorials.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and hopefully you learnt something new!


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