Photo: Relief Printing

Lino Printing:

  • Cutting a design into lino needs a certain amount of time, dexterity and focus.
  • With lino you can get a clean crisp image and fine detail.
  • Lino needs special cutters & inks so is more expensive then poly printing.
  • Lino is tougher and lasts longer so can create more copies from one panel.

Poly Printing:

  • Poly printing is good for all abilities as takes less pressure than the lino. I have found it particularly good with kids, disabled groups and older people when manual dexterity & hand strength is an issue.
  • It is good for short sessions and drop in events as can achieve something very quickly but there is also the scope to take more time to do bigger or more detailed work.
  • Unlike lino, you don’t need specialist equipment to do poly printing making it cheaper. I tend to use old pizza bases which are there free so less pressure regarding mistakes. You can use biros or pencils or clay tool or basically anything to create the grooves of your design/pattern.
  • You can use normal paints rather ink so easier to clean. I like getting groups to experiment with layering colours.
  • With groups with some skill level, I like to use fabric paints onto cotton and then embellish them using embroidery & beading techniques.
  • Because it is soft, the image quality does deteriorate so limited reuse of the panel. Can be good for rough experiments before transferring a particular design onto lino.

I run printing workshops with all age groups & abilities both as drop in sessions and as part of longer projects. Using monoprinting or relief printing – lino, poly, collagraph, stitched. I also run short or drop in sessions in making posters using a selection of pre-made blocks on a particular theme e.g. the women’s rights ones as part of the Gamechangers project. Prints can be framed or used to make cards, wrapping paper, book covers or fabric bag patches.