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.