Relief Printing

Relief Printing:  Lino-cut for Beginners
Instructor:  Sally Gilbert
Date and Time:  Two Saturdays,  October 4 & 11, 9:00 am – 12:00pm
Cost:  $75.00 Non-member  $65.00 Museum Member or UMaine student w. I.D.
MAX KAUS (German 1891-1977) Kopf(head) 1920, Woodcut

Artist’s website: http//

Workshop Description:
See your designs come to life as you learn to successfully print them!
Sally Gilbert combines her fine arts background and her block printing
knowledge to guide participants in designing a hand-carved linoleum
block and also print a small edition. Gilbert will discuss how to create
a composition, transfer to the block, carve, pull proofs and print a final
edition. Prepare to get messy!

Artist Statement

I have drawn inspiration from artists such as Jean Dubuffet, Odilon Redon, the German Expressionists, Rouault and Jean Fautrier –all of which have an expressive, instinctive style. Lately I have a fascination with art brut – art produced by non professionals working outside of aesthetic norms (also called outsider art). I believe that in our search for novelty in post-modernist art making, we often lose touch with the truth in our own perceptions and emotions; the artist has to be honest with him/herself and with the audience. Consequently, in each painting I am trying to channel emotion or process an internal world.

In addition to traditional oil or acrylic on canvas, I also employ a technique that mixes paint with sand, or layers paint over a substrate of joint compound on wood. I have also utilized non-traditional materials such as cardboard, found wood or doors for painting substrates and used enamels and house paint in addition to oils and acrylics.


Linoleum block (1 per person): this is where you will do most of your work! By carving into the surface, you will be creating raised lines to capture the ink that reproduces the original drawing of your choice.

Gouge/Carving tools: After you learn how to transfer the image to the block, you will need these to set the image. A variety of tools can be essential in making sure your image comes out the way you want it to. We will be using a

Transfer paper: Using graphite paper is one way to transfer your image to the block. You can also use a copy machine and rub graphite on the back of the copy to transfer your drawing. Another option is to sacrifice your original drawing by rubbing graphite on the back, then redrawing over the image to make the transfer.

Paper for proofing: Artists newsprint is fine for pulling a print to see where you are in various stages of carving your block to get your image just right.

Barren: A round, smooth hand tool that is used to press the paper against the inked surface of the block to transfer the ink to the paper while printing.

Paper for Edition: Rice paper will be provided

Brayers: These are used to transfer the ink to the block for each print.

Spatulas: to blend and spread ink on the the surface where the ink will be rolled out evenly before it is applied to the block

Rollers: used to transfer the ink evenly to the block surface after it is carved. These are also used to press the image onto the paper when the block is inked.

Ink: Oil based ink works for the majority of projects but we will use speedball ink which is made specifically for block printing and is safe and water soluble.

Cleaning Supplies: Block printing can be really messy. *You will need something to keep you clean. (Apron, old clothes) but we will provide the rest!

Work Surface: A glass plate will be provided as a surface to put the ink on. Glass is the best to use because of its smooth surface and is reusable and easy to clean.

Bench Hook: This is a wooden plate (or metal) that has a piece on each end that holds the block in place on the table as you are cutting into it.

Barrier Cream or latex gloves: To protect your hands from ink and just so that they are easier to clean.



Bring extra paper or a sketch book or sketch pad, pencil, felt tip markers etc. with you for planning out your ideas if you like.  We will provide paper and pencils for this purpose as well.

Printmaking/block carving tools if you have them (optional)

Wear clothing that you don’t mind getting messy or bring an apron

Drawings, if you are inspired! Remember that they need to fit within a 5” x 8” space



Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938)

Erich Heckel (1883-1970)

Karl Schmidt-Rotluff (1884-1976)

Max Beckmann

Otto Muller (1874-1930)

Max Pechstein

Kathe Kollwitz

Die Brücke (“The Bridge”)

Die Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider)

Neue Sachlichkeit (“New Objectivity”)

Australian Artist Barbara Hanrahan (1939-1991)

Leonard Baskin (1922 –2000)