Hand Printing with A Wooden Spoon - Tips
You don't need to have an expensive press to make great Lino prints. I, for one, still use my trusty wooden spoon for hand printing. In this blog and video, I'm going to share with you how I made "Bunny over Moon" and some things I wish I knew about this process when I started out on my printmaking journey.
For this print I used an 8x10 Blick Ready-Cut Plate and printed it on 9x12 Japanese Hohso Paper. Why the Blick Ready-Cut Plates? Because it is a soft plate and the soft plates give you an easier ink transfer when hand pressing a print. Blick Ready-Cut Plate is just one of many brands of softer plates that you can purchase.
Another important thing I learned is to use smooth paper that's not thick when hand printing. The smoother the paper, the better the contact with the plate. This helps to create a clean print that is not "salty". I like to use Japanese Hosho paper because has a rough side and a very smooth side, I use the smooth side for a clean, crisp print.
Through trial and error I have found that this combo of plate and paper works well for me, especially when the design has large areas of ink to transfer (like the black areas in this image.)
Please note that when inking the plate, I use my brayer across the image in every direction and reload it with ink a couple of times to get an even, solid coat of ink on the plate. Practice and experience will help you know when there is too little or too much ink on the plate, and it's always good to lift corners and ends while printing to check for "salty" areas before performing the final, full pull.
I hope these tips help you on your printmaking journey.