Hey, so I know this is primarily a food blog, but occasionally I stumble upon a bit of knowledge that I must share despite it being inedible, whether its an easy Halloween costume for work or a yummy way to scent the house.
Yesterday, I did a demonstration on block printing at my work (art supply store), which required more “homework” than I was expecting. I wanted to have a certain number of blocks prepared that people could play with, or at the very least view the prints I had made with that block. Having not used linoleum block since college, I wanted to do something detailed and well drawn with the 4×5 block, and had the idea to transfer an image printed from the computer.
I originally had thought you could transfer the image via a warm iron, but that ended up being for the Speedball “Speedy Cut” rubber block (which was bullshit anyway). Looking online, people suggested using a damp sponge. Nope. Some guy said pouring white vinegar over the drawing on the block would transfer the image. NOPE. I mentioned to my boss how I needed carbon paper to transfer the image, and she gave me this excellent alternative.
HOMEMADE CARBON PAPER
You will need a piece of thin paper (regular printer paper or drawing paper would work fine) and a pencil, preferably one sized higher in the B’s (2B, 4B, 6B, etc). I imagine a regular pencil would work, but I can’t attest to that (a regular pencil is usually size HB). Okay, this is what I did: Fold your paper around the area you plan to transfer the image to, so that you have clear sides. (Or outline the area onto the paper.) Now cover the area with pencil.
Tape the paper with the pencil side down onto the area the image will be transferred to. Grab the image you want to trace and center it, then tape it to the paper.
*Remember that when using it to make a print on paper, the image will be reversed.
Go over the lines of the image firmly. I did this with a pencil, which is fine, but in hindsight I wish I had used a pen. All you want is a stiff point, and I kept having to sharpen the pencil, which makes it shorter and shorter…:) Once you have drawn over every line, remove the paper.
Voila! An awesome laser printed image has been transferred for carving a stamp. Of course, carving takes a bit of talent I suppose 😉 but its nice not to be required to draw a perfect picture to get a perfect stamp.
This worked great for the linoleum block, and I’m sure it would work great for a number of other things too. Homemade carbon paper, as easy as mindless pencil shading.