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the frivolous cake: new lino cut print!

I made a new lino cut print! It's a private commission and illustrates a poem called The Frivolous Cake by Mervyn Peake, from his Gormenghast book Titus Groan.

A freckled and frivolous cake there was
That sailed upon a pointless sea...

I didn't really have time to do this piece, and I did the first sketch quite quickly, to knock off a very small print. But then the client came back with a very reasonable offer of payment, so I decided I could get up extra early in the mornings and somehow fit in a more elaborate piece. So we decided to go with the second sketch. I really was going to say no, but I do love making lino cuts...

Here's some of the first cutting I did late one evening:

And here's the linoleum block, all ready to print! (I'd already bought some oil-based relief ink from Intaglio on Southwark Bridge Road for the lino cut I made for the Jubilee workshop with Rolf Harris.)

Can you see what it is? This is the fun bit, when I roll on the ink and the picture suddenly pops up.

So I lay the paper on top of it and rub the back of the paper with the spoon. Then when I peel off the paper, there's the picture, in reverse!

Since it's oil-based ink, I have to use white spirit to clean up.

I can never entirely clean the block, it always keeps traces of the ink. But it still looks kind of cool. So there you have it, a new lino print!

Other news: Do you live anywhere near Berkshire? One of Britain's top writers, Geraldine McCaughrean (The White Darkness, Peter Pan in Scarlet) has written a brand-new play which you can watch outdoors, from tomorrow. Bring your own picnic! Details here.

And my Oliver and the Seawigs co-creator Philip Reeve has some new treats online for you! Alex Fitch has interviewed Philip and Jodi Picoult on Resonance FM, which you can now listen to as a podcast here. I've only read one of Jodi's books, My Sister's Keeper, but I'm curious to read her first YA novel, Between the Lines. And I had no idea that she was only the second woman to write for Wonder Woman, who would've thought.

And Jeffrey Lamar has interviewed Philip about his music playlist, so click over to hear the connections between the songs and his writing. And if you just want to listen to the tracks straight through, and have Spotify, here's the playlist:



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 24th, 2012 08:03 pm (UTC)
I've been tempted to try out lino cut printing for a while, but this post has actually motivated me to get off my backside and order a set of lino cutting stuff. Thank you! :D
Jul. 26th, 2012 08:46 am (UTC)
Glad to hear it! And you're welcome! :D
Jul. 25th, 2012 04:49 pm (UTC)
Lino Cuts
Hi Sarah, after seeing your excellent Lino Cut of the Greenwich Park Trees you inspired me to pop into Intaglio. Once inside I proceeded to treat myself to all the required gear in order to start creating my own. Whilst I was in there, a woman was also buying some equipment. I got talking to her and it turns out she too had seen your tree print (as well as your Jubilee TV appearance with Rolf Harris)and too felt the need to get all creative! I just need a bit of peace and quiet away from family life to make start. I love the new commissioned piece by the way.

Gordon of Greenwich

PS - Are the tree prints available to buy?
Jul. 26th, 2012 08:51 am (UTC)
Re: Lino Cuts
Wow, what were the chances of that?! Thanks for letting me know, so interesting! Good luck with your own lino cut, I hope you get some time and space to work on it.

I'm not generally selling the prints just because I'm so busy with book work at the moment that I don't really have time for printing, packaging, post office, etc. But thanks for your interest! I'm still hoping to do a few more in my oil-based ink, I really must make some time to do that. Send me an e-mail and perhaps we can work out something: sarah at jabberworks dot co dot uk
Aug. 17th, 2012 03:02 pm (UTC)
What kind of paper do you use when you're doing it with a wooden spoon? I'm renovating a mangle to make a lino press, but it's taking years (not enough sunny Saturdays), and it would be nice if I could do some now.
Aug. 17th, 2012 03:40 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure of the brand (it's at home and I'm in the studio) but it's a thin Japanese sort of paper. Too thick and it's hard to pick up all the details. I can check the brand later, if you like. :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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