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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

More reduction printing

Well, I have been bitten by the 'lino' bug!  This is a long grab a cup of coffee if you are interested...if not, come back for another day/post!
This reduction printing is so much fun.  It does take concentration for sure but it's still fun!  I found a leaf tracing I made from the book 'Fall' by Christopher Griffith.  I love this book and have used his photos for inspiration and applique!

First step, I cheated and stamped on paper and fabric this background.  This was a stamp I carved several years ago.

I wasn't sure how to what to carve for the background so started with this printing in yellow.

Stamped fabric...or was it paper???  I don't remember but you get the idea!

I traced the outline of the leaf onto my stamp, which is 9" x 11", and proceeded to cut away the background (remove areas that you want to keep!  Confused yet!  I had already stamped my background, right?!  So I wanted to keep the design (above pic).

Once I cut away the background (only!) I stamped onto a piece of paper to make sure the leaf outline was as I wanted it to be.  From what the professionals say, this is an important step.   Just ensures you are happy with the areas you have carved away...and gives you an opportunity to cry if you've cut too much away!  HA

I used a lime green (lightest shade first) for my leaf print.  I was happy with the outline of the leaf and proceeded to print on fabric too.

Most folks who print for a living use a 'jig' to hold their stamp (unless they are using a press, which I don't have either!).  So I improvised and used the backside of a canvas.

Perhaps hard to see in this picture but I have the stamp on the left side, stamp side up, after I rolled paint on it.  You can barely see the leaf stamp under the paper.  This gives me a good work area to rub the paint onto my substrate.

 Next I laid the edge of my paper or fabric along the top edge of the stamp and carefully laid the substrate on top of the stamp.  Next, something else I didn't have is a 'baren' to rub on top of your paper to ensure the paint transfers.  So, time to improvise again and I used a round, wooden coaster!  Worked for me!  You can also use a spoon...or brayer.

Next, time to carve away!  Now I'm carving areas that I want to stay lime green!   You can see the open/white areas within the leaf, which I want to stay lime green.   See the process now!
I printed onto a piece of paper to make sure I carved away the areas I wanted to keep....and yes, I did cry because I cut away too much in some areas...but this is practice...heck, my first quilt had 1" binding on it and 5/8" seams!  It's all a learning process...I printed using this dark green on one piece of paper.

I used a bronze for a 2nd printing.

This was the print with the dark green paint on my practice piece.

Oops...a little blurry...this was printed on fabric using the bronze paint.

Now it's time for the final cut!!!  This time I wanted to remove ALL the inside areas but keep the stem and veins.  One suggestion was to use permanent marker to go over all the areas (stem and veins) that you want to keep.  That did help me to carve carefully next to these lines.

Again, my practice piece.  All the black areas you see are areas I didn't carve...

Finished printing...

I have to say I really do enjoy this technique and the process!  Sure makes you think....I don't have any large pieces of material to carve but I do have 2 smaller pieces (& I can use the backside of my leaf, which is now a nothing stamp but veins/stem!  HA).  So my next carving will be a small sea horse...why...I don't know..just happened to see this applique pattern I found!  So why not...should be easy to do and again, just to practice!


  1. Fascinating, though I admit I’ll read to read this several more times to be sure I understand the steps… good of you to take the time to share this technique.

  2. This is mind-bending for sure. I would need complete quiet, no distractions to complete the steps. But you got some great results and good tips along the way.


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