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  • Writer's pictureChiara

Suicide Block

It’s time to think about technicalities. The reduction lino technique is used to print a multi-layered image using a single block of lino. After each layer is printed, the area of the block corresponding to that colour is carved away. Then the next layer is printed. It’s a bit of a challenge to get used to thinking in this way. I need to remember that the visibility of the colour I am printing at the time depends on what I cut away from the block after I have printed it. Subsequent layers of the print build up on top of each other. This introduces the issue of transparency, where colours from previous layers influence the final result. And the block is progressively destroyed as each layer is cut and printed. So there’s no going back to reprint or adjust an earlier layer of the print. Hence the nickname, “suicide print”.

Our assignment is to print an edition of five, plus a variable edition of five—exploring different colour combination and approaches to printing. We’ve been advised to start with 15-20 prints to allow for errors and failed trials.

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