As you all probably know by now, I am completely obsessed with all forms of stamping and printing. And so, when I came across an email notification about a Lino block printing workshop run by Zeena Shah in her East London studio, I signed up without any hesitation! I do believe the last time I did any lino cutting or block printing was back in high school (a very VERY long time ago!) so I really did look forward to revisiting those days back in school. The class consisted of just 8 lovely ladies and Zeena herself….all grouped around one big workstation covered in Lino cutting equipment and copious amounts of stationery goodies and refreshments! We were given a quick intro and then left to carve out our own little creations!
We used Speedy-Carve Blocks (by Speedball) instead of the traditional linoleum. These are high-density rubber blocks, pink in colour, that are quick and easy to carve….not to mention really flexible that doesn’t crack or crumble….so it really was well suited for beginners or for quick block making tasks. Once we decided on our designs we transferred it onto the 8x10cm rubber block provided (you can either free-hand draw these straight onto the rubber blocks or use tracing paper to transfer your designs) you start carving using lino-cutting tools that come with various sized blades/nibs.
As you can see above, I opted for Easter themed illustrations and got busy carving out my little chick and wee bunny! If you are rather ‘particular’ like me, the carving can take a little bit longer in order to try and achieve as much detail as possible particularly at a smaller scale. When you’re satisfied with your cuts then the fun of stamping and printing begins! Water-based pigment ink pads were mainly used for stationery and we even gave fabric printing a go with our cut out blocks by simply using fabric paints….it’s as easy as that! (see below).
As you can see from the photos, it really was a lovely, fun-fuelled evening of crafty-ness. There were some seriously cool and really creative stamps made by all the girls that evening and we even posed for a couple of cute cheesey group photos taken at the end by Zeena’s photographer friend Michelle…..who was there to take photos to feature in the next Mollie Makes issue! :) So do you fancy trying this out yourself? If you are based in the east end of London then Zeena does carry out various printing workshops – click here to keep an eye our for future dates. It’s a good opportunity for some therapeutic crafty frolics as well as meeting many creative folk. However, if you aren’t able to sign up to workshops near you then do not fret as there are plenty of tutorials out there on YouTube and that combined with the right tools……you are on your way to making some fabulous handmade stamps/blocks. I for one have just ordered some materials and now patiently waiting to receive them through the post so I can start some printing!!! Thanks again Zeena for the lovely class….thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it!! :) xxx