"You know how dreams give you a jolt, and all of a sudden you’re falling? It was like that. My heart skipped, and I went tumbling.
We sank so far into that kiss it was like the earth split apart and let us through, straight down into that whirlpool all lovers fall through: we victims of gravity, tangling like ropes, our hands trapped in warm hair, our teeth flashing wet in the dark.
Dane and I kissed, holding each other tight. We were goblet to goblet, tongues searching shamelessly deep.
And a womb is a wanting thing."
from Stalker: a Gothic Thriller by Pauline West
Drizzly Sunday, perfect for open windows, Townes Van Zandt... and linocut prints!
I'm going to make a few illustrations for my novel, so this was a warm up. Also, I wanted to make something neat to wrap a birthday present in, because I fucking hate wrapping paper.
Once you've got your drawing all good to go, tape a piece of tracing paper over it, and draw over the whole thing with a pencil.
Carefully lift up the tape and flip the tracing paper over.
Trace over the reverse side of the tracing paper.
You might want to grab an envelope or something to rest beneath your hands as you work, so not to smudge the lead.
Now tape your tracing paper, reverse side down, onto your lino-block.
Use the butt- end of a soft pencil to firmly rub the lead impressions onto your block.
If they aren't quite coming off, you can always trace over them directly onto the block, or simply start again. Just make sure to place your tracing paper exactly over the lines you've already transferred.
When you've got your block all scooped out, make a few test prints before printing on anything fancy, like tea towels or tank tops.
Squirt your ink out onto a smooth surface, and run your roller (brayer) back and forth in the ink until it makes a crackly sound, like frying bacon.
Now roll directly onto your block. Ink generously, but no need to press too hard; you don't want to fill in the blank parts!
Carefully position your paper on top of the block and smooth it down. I use my hands initially, and then a rolling pin. I also like kneeling on top of chairs to get enough leverage! ah, next time I'll do a better job documenting this process. Maybe.
There's this awesome moment of resistance when you lift up your print. From the paint sticking the two surfaces together? Love that.
Sketch pad & soft pencil.
Tracing paper, tape.
Lino-block. I like the soft carve stuff.
Ink roller, AKA brayer.
Linoleum ink. They have tons of kinds. Make sure to get fabric specific ink if you want to print on fabric. duh.
A smooth place to roll your ink out.
Lastly, some place clever to let your prints rest in peace for 1-5 days (depending on the ink.) Your cats will find this stuff, so it's a good idea to get them up out of the way if you can.
P.Z. West's first novel, EVENING’S LAND, is a Library Journal Self-e Selection, winner of the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Award and recipient of the Carol Marie Smith Memorial Scholarship for the NOEPE Center of Literary Arts.
Pauline West's books on Goodreads
Candlemoth: A Holy City Romance
ratings: 27 (avg rating 4.04)
ratings: 24 (avg rating 3.46)
Candlemoth Volume 2: How To Spend It
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.40)
Candlemoth Book 3: A Twist of Fate
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.17)
Stalker: A Gothic Thriller
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.25)