Putting Together the Materials Kits

I’m in Ubud Bali for my Linocut Workshop at the ARMA resort in Ubud. Had a really busy day yesterday putting the kits together.  The box the kit comes in is hand woven in Bali, it took some organising to get the boxes made to size, but totally worth it, and a great way to support local crafts people. They are exquisitely made. There is over $240 worth of materials in this kit and I’ve sourced quality  brands I’ve been using for years.


Choosing Lino Tools

Hope you all had a fabulous Christmas, I come from a big family and we had lots of excited kids and lots of great food and got to catch up with family who don’t live in Perth. I really enjoy this time of year, time to take stock of things, relax and spend time with friends.

Also every January I take a group of people to Ubud, Bali to teach a linocut workshop. The workshop runs from the 8th – 15th of January, I will arrive a couple of days earlier, to be organised. I have already got the materials, for the linocut kits every participant receives and written the linocut information booklet.

When it comes to buying lino tools, I wanted quality tools that were reasonably priced and good value for money. (Of course if you have more to spend you can’t go passed the Swiss Pfeil tools or the Japanese Powergrip.)

In the kit I have 2 types of lino tools, One is the speedball tool which

Speedball Cutting Tool

has 5 blades that fit into an ergonomic handle. I like this kit because it has the finest blade for detail, for the price there is nothing finer. The handle is easy t hold and comfortable. It’s a good all rounder.

This year I also added a second set of tools to the kit, I came across it during the year when I teach linocut at the Fremantle Arts Centre. I can’t tell you what they are called because they are Japanese and the box is only labelled in Japanese characters. True to their reputation these tools are sharp, and while they lack the ergonomic shape of the speedball they make up for it in the quality of the steel. In fact, I haven’t seen anything as good for the price. They look just like the cheap ones you may have used before.  In this picture they are the Three tools in the yellow box. They look like the kind of tools every school art room has,  but these are much sharper than those! Personally, I think it is cruel to expect kids to do good work with those blunt tools, they get poor results and then, understandably decide they don’t like printmaking. Or worse they say “I’m not creative and I can’t do that.”

You are creative and with the right tools and instruction, You can do that. Find out about my Bali Trip here or see my linocuts here. I’m off to Bali soon so I have started an Ubud Art workshops Facebook page, like us and you can see it all unfold. Maybe you can join us next time.

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Linocuts – more than cutting white

Lino Blocks for Wine Labels
Lino Blocks for Wine Labels

On a basic level, a linocut is a stamp, you cut away the white areas and the remaining areas are inked up and printed.

But it’s so much more than that.

This image shows the lino blocks I made a couple of years ago for a series of wine labels for Journey Wines  I really enjoyed making the artwork for this project, there is something very satisfying about the process of carving lino. It is so physical in this digital world, connecting you to centuries of printmaking.

More than just carving away the white areas. Linocut is about finding a mark that describes the essence that subject.  So you are carving away the white areas of  water with a different mark than you are carving away grass, clothing differently from skin. Like mark-making in drawing, brush-marks in painting the carved mark becomes an expression of the subject matter. I have been making Linocuts for over 20 years and I just need one more person for my Linocut workshop held in Ubud Bali to go ahead 8th – 15th January 2017.

Find out about my Bali workshop here

See my Linocuts from the Understanding Alice Exhibition here

See my Linocuts for wine labels here

Here is the video I made before the 2015 workshop, ignore the dates all the other info is relevant to our 2017 trip, love for you to join me.




Exhibitions, Classes and More


I recently have had 3 of my Alice Linocuts in the Guildford Grammer Exhibition. And somedesire-linocut-by-shana-james of my Alice Drypoints in the York art Award (still on).Those of you who follow  the blog will know Alice refers to Alice in Wonderland.  See more of these images on the Gallery Page of my website. http://shanajames.com/gallery/

Ubud Art Workshops

I am hoping the linocut demonstrations are going to inspire some more people to book into my linocut workshop in January 2017. If I don’t get some more people booking by October 30th I ‘m going to have to cancel and I would hate to tell that to those who have booked in. Everyone is looking forward to going, but I must get minimum numbers soon so accommodation can be booked. So if you are interested or know someone who is please let me know, or you may miss out. https://ubudartworkshops.com/

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for more info go to https://ubudartworkshops.com/

Classes at the Freo Arts Centre

If Bali is not your thing, Fremantle Arts Centre term starts next week so get in now. I still fremantle-arts-centrehave places for Draw Print Paint on Monday mornings. It’s a tasting plate to get you started an ideal beginners class. I also have Linocut on Tuesday afternoons and some others see the FAC website https://www.fac.org.au/drawing-printmaking


In my art room, I have been preparing for 2 free demonstrations  one tomorrow at Jacksons Alfred Cove and the other on Saturday at Oxlades. I am also planning an artist’s book for the between the sheets exhibition curated by Gallery East that will be on next year.  I will post some images when it starts to come together.


Almost finished the first unit of study for my Masters of Fine Arts which I am doing part time at ECU. I am really enjoying discussing ideas in a more formal setting. Although we discuss ideas a lot in my classes at the Fremantle Arts Centre too. Perhaps I just like talking 🙂


Thanks for taking the time to look at my work more at http://shanajames.com/gallery/

This image is in the York Art Exhibition

Now it is Always 6 O'clock - Drypoint intaglio by Shana James $720 unframed 55 x 76 cm
Now it is Always 6 O’clock – Drypoint intaglio by Shana James $720 unframed 55 x 76 cm






Why go to Bali to make Linocuts?

Balcony View at the Arma ResortI am looking for people to attend my Linocut workshop in Ubud Bali from the 8th – 15th January 2017.  Deposit needed by the 3oth September 2016.

This is a workshop suitable for:

  • Beginners to Linocut
  • Up – skilling art teachers or arts professionals
  • Artists wishing to follow their own theme

Why go to Bali?

  • The ARMA Resort is a beautiful place with gorgeous gardens all the inspiration and subject matter you would need is there.
  • You are away from home out of your routine and away from the mundane distractions of everyday life.
  • The food is excellent.
  • You will return feeling relaxed and rejuvenated and learn a new skill?
  • Learn about Balinese art and culture.
  • The ARMA resort supports the arts at a grass roots level providing free tuition to local children in traditional Balinese dance, music and visual arts. By supporting ARMA you are supporting  Balinese traditional arts.

So to organise the accommodation I need a deposit of $680 by September 30th. I would love to share my love of linocut with you in 2017, give yourself an experience and start the year feeling inspired.

For details on cost and itinerary go to www.ubudartworkshops.com

and see the video below which was made for the 2015 trip, 2017 is at the same venue.


Why I Love Linocuts

Linocut is such an interesting way to make an image. It has such a sharp graphic quality and you are never quite sure what it will look like until you print it. The process of carving the lino is so satisfying, tactile you really feel like you are physically making the image as well as creating it. A therapeutic escape from the digital world.

I will be teaching an evening linocut class at the Fremantle Arts Centre this term. Starting Tuesday 9th August 2016(click here and scroll down for more info). I will also be running a linocut workshop in Ubud Bali in January 2017. (see Video Below)

Here are some of my Linocut images you can see more on the Gallery Page of my website.

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Linocut has its own language. Pattern and texture become all important because you can’t shade to create graduations of tone like you can with drawing or other printmaking techniques. You really have to convert your drawing to the language of linocut.

When you make a linocut you are carving the white and the area that remains is printed. I like the reverse process. Like drawing the light or in this case carving the light. It is one of the few printmaking processes you can do without a press, Margaret Preston did all her prints at the kitchen table!

Here is the Video about my workshop in Ubud Bali Love to see you there. Please see the website for more information. Pay your deposit now to avoid disapointment.

Art Workshop in Ubud Bali – Arma Resort

Balcony View at the Arma Resort
Balcony View at the Arma Resort

With our exhibition at Heathcote  finished and all the work up on the website click here to see. My attention has turned to my Bali Workshop next January. See https://ubudartworkshops.com/ website has just been updated with some new pictures, and I am really excited at the prospect of taking another group in January 2017. Over the next few days I will blog about different aspects of the trip I have planned for 2017.

Here is a short video I made before the 2015 trip. Which shows the beautiful gardens at the Arma Resort where we stay.

The Arma Resort was started to fund the Arma Foundation which was created to promote and preserve Balinese culture, including traditional dance, visual arts and wood carving. As well as other cultural programs, it provides traditional informal classes for local children free of charge to preserve Bali’s beautiful artistic culture.  By staying at the Arma Resort we are putting money back into Balinese arts.

It is such a relaxing and inspiring place to stay, a river runs through the property and you can hear the sound of running water in the background, where ever you are.

For prices and details go to the website, I would love to have you on the trip. Please subscribe to this blog, the next one will be about linocut.