Rosie at work on Sunday at the studio, using the Ruskin Albion Press to demonstrate the method of turning a carved block into a printed image. The group of students and visitors are part of the Oxford University Alumni Weekend 2017, for which we have run a day course again this year. Lots of the other departments have been open and doing things. At Wytham Nigel Fisher And Danni Linton were also doing bat walks in the woods.
The purpose of our day was to introduce all-comers to the basics of linocut technique and a little bit of letterpress. Robin re-drew an image he had previously used of St. Cross College for the OUP University Almanack in 2015. We pre-prepared the block by cutting it to size for the whole image, sanding its surface with wet-and-dry sandpaper in the manner we usually use, and then transferring the image using tracing paper from the sketchbook to the lino. Each class throughout the day was a different size, so we waited until we knew how many we had in each session before cutting the linoblock up into that number of pieces. Everyone got a piece. Sitting in a big group, we then passed round the linocutting tools and everyone did their own small piece.
The picture shows a group of nine. As you can see, Rosie is pushing all the sub-blocks back into a whole image, which we then printed as a mosaic. Everyone got one of the finished posters (we pre-printed some letterpress headed/footer text) to take home along with their block to help explain to anyone the process of its creation.
I was hard work but great fun. Below is a copy of one of the many finished posters….