Non toxic Printmaking- Cleaning up oil based inks with vegetable oil.

I have for a while now been trying to do most of my cleaning of oil based inks with vegetable oil. The interest in safe wash inks, so called eco friendly and non toxic, is because they are easier to clean up . You can just use soap and water even though they are oil based. Great! But this special ability, being water soluble means it reduces its range of uses as a printmaking ink in my opinion. I have bought a few tubes myself , and have used them for monoprinting, or Kitchen Litho, forgetting about the water soluble nature, and then stuff starts bleeding and not working … and THEN I remember about the safe wash inks, Doh!

Looking into non toxic ways of printmaking , I came across the technique of using veg oil to clean up. Gave it a try and have been using it ever since.

Here is my video on Youtube where I give a really quick demo of this. ( really quick as my camera battery was about to die!)

By removing white spirit from cleaning up oil based inks, you remove the biggest reason that it is deemed toxic for the printmaker. And arguably the thing that would make it the most un-environmentally friendly. The traditional oil based inks I use, the base is linseed oil, a plant based oil , so less fossil fuel usage.

Safe wash my not be all its cracked up to be is all I’m saying. What do you think?

New work !

New reduction Lino , finally finished

This print I started back in spring, based on flowers that were my nan’s, though she has passed away a few years ago now. I find plants and nature very comforting for their demonstration of life and death and life again. This was about 5 layers and 7 or 8 different colours ( I lost count) and I am happy with the final result , the vibrant pink colour and the shape of the leaves were the main things I wanted to showcase in this print.

 

Some of the photos from the printing process….

                                           

                                                       

 

The final print is just a bit smaller than A3, entirely printed by hand at home, using my trusty spoon. I used traditional grey lino and oil based inks.

It is an edition of 6 variable prints ( the last layer I changed the colours for some of them)  and if you really like it you can find it on my etsy shop.

Also available to see it in the flesh at Painswick Artburst event , from the 17th of august!

Two sparrows update

Browsing through pinterest I found a linocut image that struck a cord , an image that you wish you had made. 

It was by an artist called Sherrie York, whos amazing blog brush and baren , I started reading .

I discoverd a technique called masking for lino printing, which inspired me to have another look at my Two sparrows print from a few months ago , and keep adding colour to it till I was happy, as Sherrie York seems to do.

Here is it with two more layers of ink , the green needs building up to make it bolder

Check out my instagram account where I post Wip pics. @alisonsloggett