Hand Printed Holidays | Ashley Quick | Skillshare
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6 Lessons (10m)
    • 1. Overview

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Design

    • 4. Carving

    • 5. Inking & Printing

    • 6. Conclusion


About This Class

This beginner friendly class will guide you through all the basics of using block printing to create hand printed paper goods, and more advanced students may learn some great tips and tricks! 

Students will learn how to design, carve, ink, and print their first block print. These skills can be applied to fabric, paper, and fine art prints in endless ways- keep an eye out for more printmaking classes here on Skillshare!


All materials are listed below, but watch the "Supplies" section for more detailed information about what we use and why!


Speedball Speedycut Rubber 

Speedball carving handle & tips

rubber brayer

bench hook

palette knife 

Speedball acrylic block printing ink


tracing paper

Scotch postal wrapping paper

paper gift tags


1. Overview: Hi, everyone. My name's Ashley quick, and I'm a printmaker and graphic designer living in Denver, Colorado. I started per making in 2000 and 11 and I started teaching in person classes in 2014 and this cause we're gonna learn the basics of block printing, So we're gonna learn to design carved ink and print your very own rubber block. The project we're gonna work on is making holiday gift paper and tax. But these skills could also be used to create paper goods such as cards or fine art prints , and can be combined with other materials such as fibre and bordry. Um, really any other medium to create really cool multimedia pieces? Definitely. My favorite part of teaching is seeing what my students come up with. So please feel free to upload process shots or final shots of what you make in this class in the discussion section. Also, feel free to follow me on social media and tag me and what you make there as well 2. Supplies: for this project. I'm gonna use this speedball speedy coat rubber. It's cheap. It works really well and is easy to find both online and at most art stores. It has a texture really similar to a river eraser. And so it takes pencil marks really well. So I'm also going to use pencil today to do my drawing. It cuts down really easily into smaller shapes and is very easy to carve. There are lots of brands and types of blocks you can use, but the speedball speedy cut is a great place to get started. To carve, you will need a set of carving tools, such as this speedball relief printing. Except it comes with a handle and a variety of interchangeable tips in different sizes and shapes. Today, we'll just use sort of a basic medium V shape. A palette knife will hopeless getting from the container and put it onto our rolling surface. This is called a Breyer, and it is how we will applying tower block when we're ready to get printing. You'll also need ink. There are lots of brands and types of ing, but I'm gonna use this speedball block printing ink. It's easy to find affordable and works really well. The thing on the right, This black thing is called a bench hook, and it is an easy way to give yourself a little printing surface so that you're not putting ink directly onto a table or a desk. It sort of sits over the edge of your desk and clips on. And then when you're done, you can just pop it off and walk it over to the sink to wash it off. You'll also need your paper goods for my wrapping paper classes. I always use this Scotch postal wrapping paper and has acute craft vibe to it. It's durable, it's opaque, and it's going to stay pretty sturdy when you wrap a gift in it. Just use any paper gift hogs that you can find online or in across store. 3. Design: for this project, we're gonna wanna find reference imagery. That's pretty simple. So if I have something in mind, let's say a polar bear for the wrapping paper. I would look up things on Pinterest or Instagram, and I would search terms like polar bear graphic or polar bear illustration to find an image that I can translate easily to a two color block I will often recommend for block burning crosses to draw directly on your block. The block takes pencil really well because it's similar to an eraser in temperature. It has kind of that robbery, a research feel. So it takes pencil marks really easily. However, if you need to do something like letters where it's very dependent on orientation, whether it looks correct or not, I would recommend using tracing paper to use this method. Draw your words on your tracing paper the way that you want them to look, look deeper over a line with an edge of your block. Hold it really still on top of that block and lightly pressed down. Just a little bit of pressure with your fingernail is gonna be enough. It looks like a mirror image on your block, which means it's gonna print correctly like this in your final image. 4. Carving: block printing is a physical process where you carve away parts of the surface of the block , creating a relief when you rolling onto the block, which I'll go over a little bit more. In the next video, the ink is rolling on Lee onto the areas that you left behind or that are raised. In this case, it's this little star that we left behind. One of the most important tools you'll be using is your carving tools. A really great brand to use. Is this speedball brand really fronting tools? You can get these at most art stores or online, and they come with four or five tips, different sizes and shapes. One of them is this knife edge, and this is sort of a medium V. To change the tips of your tools, pick up your tool and loosen this part. But don't fully take it off. That will loosen it enough to take your tip off, pick up a different size or shape. In this case, I'm gonna put on this kind of media V shape and then put it in the slot underneath the thinner edge and then just tight in it, I would start with a medium V or U shaped because they're the most versatile as far as what types of mark you can make with them while carving. You want to make sure you're using the very bottom of that shape because that's what's most effectively going to carve away the rubber rather than going at it from the side or scraping at the block. The marks you make don't need to be super deep, but if you go deeper, it can make them image. Look a little cleaner around the edges. There's definitely no right or wrong. It just depends on what kind of look you're going for. You can always go back after doing a test print and carve away more if you need Teoh. This is a fun part of the process to experiment with shape, line and texture to get some good variety in your final print. - One of the best parts of walk running is it's gonna come out a little rustic and probably a little bit rough. Sometimes this ends up being the best part of your image. So if something seems a little wonky or you've made a little bit of a mistake, try not to worry about it. Just let it be loose and have fun with it. 5. Inking & Printing: hang one edge of your bench hook over the side of your work table, which will keep it still while you're working with your ink. Here I've taped down the edge of my papers so that it stays still while I'm printing the acrylic ink that we use dries really quickly. So you wanna have all of your supplies ready to go and on hand before you get the ink ready , use your pilot knife to scoop a thick layer of the ink out of the top of your container. Spread the ink across the top of your Ben, choking a thick line. This is what I call a loading zone, and it's what you're going to use to load your Breyer, Raul Rolling Inc and getting it ready to roll into your block. Use your Breyer to tap into this loading zone and draw it down onto the rest of your bench hook. Keep lifting and rolling as you go so the ink becomes evenly distributed over the surface of your prayer. Sometimes the instinct here is to use a ton of ink, but it's actually most important to use a relatively thin, even layer of ink. A good starting point is to look for a texture pretty similar to velvet. You want to be able to see the little ridges that the ink makes, but you don't want it to be nearly as because it is up in your loading zone. Want to take that same movement and roll the ink directly onto your block while it's sitting on your table? Keep lifting and rolling during this process so that the ink is evenly distributed over your block is well. When you're done inking your block, pick it up and put it down where you'd like to print it and apply even pressure over the whole back. You want to be careful not to move it around cause that's gonna blur your image. And sometimes the acrylic ink can sort of smosh around. So it was pressed down pretty gently and evenly around the edges so that you get a relatively smooth print in your final image, and that's it. At this point, you can build your pattern for your wrapping paper and use different sizes and images on the same pattern. If you start to notice the lions in your image filling with think you can wash and dry your block and start fresh. Another issue that might come up is really uneven or patchy printing, which sometimes that looks really cute. But if it's not the style that you're going for, try a slightly thicker layer of ink. 6. Conclusion: At this point, you should have all of the basic skills you need to get started with block printing. Please post any questions in the discussions as well as process shots and any finished wrapping paper that you've worked on in this class. I really like to see what my students make, and it can also be really fun and inspiring to get comments and legs from other students. Also, feel free to follow me on social media and tag me in anything that you create there. Thanks for taking my class and keeping out for future printmaking classes here on school trips. Thanks for taking my class and keep it out for future part making classes here on skill chair.