Laura Boswell ARE – Printmaker

Managing different pressures on different areas on one inking

In this linocut I need a delicate pressure for inking the spindly lines and details in the foreground while still getting a decent impression on the large flat area in the background. I achieve this by making two passes to get a ’single’ layer of ink onto the lino. 

In photo 2 the block is inked for the flat background only - I ink that area and wipe away any ink on the foreground detail, then I print at full pressure. Photo 3 shows the first pass with the background inked. Photo 4 shows my inks; a blend for the background and a transparent grey for the foreground. Photo 5 shows the card sheets I use to vary the pressure of my Albion, I have seven sheets and can go from the merest dab to barely able to pull the handle. Once the background is printed, then I ink up the whole plate with the transparent grey and reprint at a much lower pressure. This means the foreground keeps the crisp fine detail, this would be squashed and clumsy if printed at the first and higher pressure, as you can see in Photo 6. I have nothing to loose by inking the second time all over the lino: it tones down the green in the sky ready for the application of a dark grey layer and it barely affects the first inking I’ve just done. If I wanted to avoid this, I would ink the foreground only.