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Printmaking tip - choosing your paper size

Whether you're an experienced printmaker, or just starting out, you often have so much to think about when printing that aligning the paper perfectly on top of your lino block can seem like a worry too far for some folks.

Are my fingers inky, have I used enough ink, have I burnished (rubbed) enough? Lining up the edge of the paper with the block perfectly can be an extra stressful tip - particularly if the edge of your block is straight.

In the workshops that I teach and in my own printing practice, I always cut the paper larger than my actual block size. Sometimes this is only by an inch - in which case I recycle the edges I rip off when the print is dry. Sometimes this is a good 4-5 inches if the sheet of paper is very large. These excess pieces get piled into a drawer in my studio and I use them to print smaller blocks or mini free prints that I include in my orders.

Not only does this mean I have a little less to think about when I'm printing - but also I know that when my print is dry I can rip/cut the paper down to be exactly aligned with the edges of my block.

Linocut print on handmade paper - Along the Shore in Canada Vancouver Island by Haychley Webb at Stellabox Designs in Norwich, Norfolk


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