Step 5: Printing

Proofing: Proofing is important. It shows you how the block will print and what mistakes you need to fix before you start really printing. You can proof your print on paper grocery sacks, butcher’s paper, or really any scrap paper you have around so that you don’t waste good paper on proofs, you can use the paper for your good prints instead.

After you have proofed, you can go back and carve out the parts of the design that didn't print the way you might have liked. Try to proof your block every time that you make new cuts to make sure you are satisfied with the way that the block is printing. 

To print you will need:

• Printer’s Ink (NOTE: Oil ink is permanent, so be sure to wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and consider wearing rubber gloves to keep your hands clean.)
• Carved block
• Ink roller (brayer)
• Smooth surface (glass plate or glass baking pan)
• Paper
• Spoon (or Baren)

Be sure to first clean your block off so that there are no stray shavings because they will mess up your print.

Begin by squeezing ink onto your glass plate or pan, I simply used my bench hook as a flat surface for my ink. Do not use too much ink, if you need more you can add on later.
Use a paint knife or just a flat utensil like regular knife or even simply a Popsicle stick to spread the ink onto the surface of the plate.

Now, roll your brayer (roller) in the ink until it is evenly coated. Do not get too much or too little ink on the roller. When you have the right amount of ink on the roller, it should make a sound like ripping Velcro when you roll the brayer back and forth.
Now taker your roller and roll it back and forth across your linoleum block, making sure you cover the entire thing evenly.

Make sure your hands are clean!

Take your paper and position it in the block, now take your wooden spoon and rub, using the backside, curved side, to transfer the image. Go in even circles with the spoon and be sure to rub the entire area.

Lift the paper slowly and carefully, and lay it somewhere to dry for three to four days. Hanging prints is an easy way to dry them. You can do this by hanging a string and use clothespins to hang the prints.

After every print you need to re-ink the block.