I’ve always thought of myself as arty; being borderline dyslexic means I naturally am a visual person. I even took graphics at A-Level, have a diploma in Interior Design and everything you see on my blog is designed by me. So when an old colleague and friend got in touch to see if I’d like to attend her Lino Printing Workshop I jumped at the chance and brought my friend, Emma, along with me.
A new hobby
Jo used to work as head of Design for Taylors of Harrogate before setting up her business and creating Maker Town Workshops Turning up at North Bar on Station Parade, we were greeted by two lovely bar staff who took our morning coffee order before we headed upstairs to the Workshop. Taking our aprons out of our bags, we soon relalised we were typical ‘Harrogate Girls’ where only a Cath Kidston apron will do. Even Jo, the instructor was wearing one. There’s something very therapeutic about arts and crafts. The room had long tables and benches, very reminiscent of my old art studio at Harrogate Grammar School. We all sat round to watch Jo demonstrate how to make a lino stamp.
What is lino printing
First she told us a bit of history about lino and how it was used to make fabrics and wallpaper. Put simply, linocut is a type of relief print. Relief printing is when a piece of paper is “stamped” with ink from the top surface of the plate. Jo then showed us the different tools and techniques to getting a good stamp before setting us free to choose our designs and start cutting!
There were so many designs to choose from and some people even brought their own! I went for the latest crazy… a pineapple. I thought it was interesting enough but also easy to cut out – well that’s what I was hoping for. Em chose a really cute but ambitious owl – twit twooo Em!
Suddenly the room was silent and the air started to fill with the extreme concentration of the group. We were all beavering away at our designs, trying not to slip up and take too much of the lino off. Jo was always never too far away. If you were to get stuck she’s calmly help you solve the problem and she was really encouraging. Phew, we’d made it past stage one. It was certainly time for a coffee and some delicious treats from North Bar – thanks guys!
It was back to our seats for the second part of the workshop… this is where it gets messy. Jo showed us how to prep the special print paint before printing. She said “you have to ensure the paint sounds sticky as you roller over it. Otherwise you end up with a gloopy mess – excess paint is never good.” Jo recommended we practiced on a scrap piece of paper before on the plain gift cards she had waiting for us. I thought this was a wise idea, being a Virgo I do like things to be perfect and get very cross with myself when it’s not. Several attempts later I was getting the hang of the printing… paint was up my arm and all over my apron but I was finally ready to take the plunge.
Time flew by and suddenly it was lunchtime. All our masterpieces were lined up and looking lovely; Em’s owl worked out super well and I loved my shocking pink pineapple. There was a sense of pride amongst the group as we walked out with our bags full of a good mornings work. We were even able to take the leftover lino home to create other magical stamps along with being able to re-use our stamps we made from the day.
It was such an enjoyable morning with Jo that I’d love to do more classes with her. She has a few coming up so book early to avoid disappointment…
- BLOCK PRINTING ON FABRIC Saturday 5th November 10-12.30
- LINO PRINTING CHRISTMAS CARDS – Saturday 19th November 10-12.30
Both workshops are £25.
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P.S. Thank you to Jo for inviting me along to get crafty. I love my pineapple cards!