The making of 'All that Glitters' linocut print

The making of 'All that Glitters' linocut print

'All that Glitters' is a handmade linocut print of a magpie and her nest. It explores themes around life cycles, life, death, and the potential being represented in the eggs. Magpies are well known for stealing shiny things, but in this case the magpie has gathered up litter, rather than treasure. The dangers of litter and pollution to the natural world are further signified by the skull at the bottom of the print. Printed on 40gsm acid free Thai Mulberry paper with Cranfield Caligo safe wash oil-based ink.

Like most of my prints, this idea started out as a pencil drawing in my sketchbook. The initial drawing focussed solely on the nest, bird and skull. However as I developed the drawing I added twigs up each side which in a slightly surreal manner become trees in the background at the top of the scene. I gathered up 'nice twigs' on a walk with my dogs to use as reference. 

 magpie nest and skull drawing

Next I transferred the image to the lino block. The red colour on the lino is due to it being stained with watered down acrylic paint (before transferring the image) to help the carved areas to stand out more.

magpie next lino block

I decided to try and create two versions of this print. One a single colour (black) print on a cream paper, the other a three layer reduction print on a rust coloured paper. The reduction print went through some odd looking stages and I wasn't sure it would work out. However I should have had more faith in the process and the result was a success and the both versions of the print turned out well. I decided to add just a little metallic watercolour paint to the magpies in the plain/cream version to give them some added sparkle!

close up of metalic paint on print

Here are the final prints:

magpie lino print with nest and skull
magpie reduction linocut print
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