Kurk Kurk - Kurk Kurk | How to Make a Linocut |

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Making a linocut can be a fun and relatively simple technique to learn. Cutting linoleum is easier than cutting wood and cost less. You don’t need much to get started, just some commonly used office supplies, good quality cutters, a cutter handle and of course – linoleum

We made this simple step-by-step tutorial for you to follow. If you’d rather follow a video tutorial, scroll down at the end of this thread to find a video. You can also find links for some of the supplies mentioned down below. Let’s begin!

The supplies

For this project you’ll need: carbon paper, a sketch, linoleum, marker, pencil, lino cutter handle, lino cutters, knife, scissors, ruler and scotch tape.

Note: any design will be reversed when printed, so keep this in mind when you create your sketch.

an image of various office and art supplies: carbon paper, sketch, linoleum, marker, pencil, cutter handle, lino cutters, knife, scissors, ruler, scotch tape.
The supplies needed for the project

1. Adjust the sketch

Before you begin cutting, you need to make some adjustments to your sketch. Since this drawing is small, it needs support around the edges, so that the linoleum doesn’t rip or tear. 

Make approx. 1cm border around the edges and then cut out the sketch.

an image of person hands holding a pencil and a ruler and marking a border around the sketch.
Adjusting the sketch

After that, mark a plot of the appropriate size on the linoleum.

an image of person hands holding a marker and marking a portion of the linoleum piece
Marking the linoleum

Next, cut out the shape using a knife.

an image of person hands holding a knife and cutting a piece of the linoleum that is placed on the cutting board.
Cutting the linoleum

2. Trace the sketch onto linoleum

Take the carbon paper and place it on the linoleum glossy side down.

An image of person hands placing carbon copy paper onto linoleum piece.
Placing carbon paper onto linoleum

Now, put your sketch on top and secure everything in place using scotch tape.

an image of person hands placing a sketch on a small piece of the linoleum.
Placing a sketch onto linoleum

Next, using a pencil, start tracing your sketch, so that it transfers onto linoleum.

an image of person hands holding a pencil and tracing the sketch so that it transfers onto linoleum trough carbon paper.
Tracing the sketch onto linoleum

When that’s done, take all the layers off.

An image of person hands with a knife cutting off the tape that is glued on the linoleum piece.
Removing the sketch from the linoleum

3. Begin cutting the linoleum

It’s time to begin cutting! For larger areas use wider lino cutters, for smaller areas use narrower lino cutters.

a view of person hands holding a lino cutter handle and cutting a piece of linoleum placed on the white surface.
Linoleum cutting process

You don’t have to cut the linoleum to deep – only to reveal the raised (uncarved) areas of your drawing.

lino cutter on a linocut piece and linoleum scraps scattered around the surface. Some cutters placed near the cutter handle.
Lino cutter and linocut. Completed cutting process

4. Make prints

Once the cutting process is over, you can cover your linocut with paint and make prints. We will explain more about making the print in the next thread. Good luck!

a hand holding a linocut piece in front of a blured out background
Completed linocut piece
a view of scattered linocut prints on paper - three blue prints and three yellow prints.
Linocut prints on white paper

Links for the supplies

Video tutorial

Urtė Baranauskaitė

Kurk Kurk workshop event's organizer and educator. Works with film photography, traditional graphic art and graphic design. Currently runs a graphic art blog and makes artworks using old photography techniques.


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