A lino cut or linoleum cut is a relief print.
The plate is covered with a thin layer of ink with a roller. When printing, the paper only touches the ink that is applied to the top layer of the plate. The parts removed from the linoleum with the gouge are lower and remain white on the print. We call the result a single print, which makes it possible to produce a large number of editions. Below are two examples of single lino prints.
To make multicolour prints various options are available. Printing two or more different plates over each other in multiple colours is called a double print.
Example of a double print (in 2 plates): Allium
To make a lino in more colours and nuances becomes more complicated, and can be done with multi-colour printing. One colour is printed for each print run. If, for example, red seeds are to be displayed, the entire plate is rolled in with red ink (and cleaned after printing) and the printed impression is put to dry. All parts on the print that have just been made that must remain red ( ie the seeds) are now removed with the gouge, so that they cannot "participate" in the next print run. The plate is then given a new colour of ink, for example green, which is then placed exactly on the previous print. After printing, the plate is cleaned again and everything that must remain green is removed. This technique is repeated until all colours have been applied to the print. At the end of this process, the linoleum plate will be almost completely emptied (this is called ‘reduced’) and can no longer be used. We call this method a reduction-lino cut. The print edition for this method is usually limited, as a lot can go wrong during the process. See example below.
With a viscose print, different colours of ink are superimposed on the plate. Each ink has a different viscosity or thickness, and will be applied in a certain order, with rollers of various hardness. The plate is then printed in one run through the press. An edition in this technique is always variable. See for example "Magnolia in October". This viscose technique can also be applied to etching and collagraphy.
Magnolia in October
A print edition means the maximum number of prints made from the work. The designation 3/8 means the third print of an edition of 8. The print maker determines how large a print edition will be. After the entire edition has been printed, the plate is destroyed.