Formerly Goat & Pebble Co.

Recommended Block Printing Materials

Please note, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That being said, I have no idea if any of the items listed below are part of Amazon's qualifying purchases, and I only recommend products that I have bought, tried, liked and continue to use. If you choose to purchase these items through the links below it means that you value the work I do. I have spent years buying and using products to find what works for me, and to make a few extra cents here and there to recommend those tried and true products, well that's pretty cool.

KITS:

Speedball Deluxe Block Printing Kit -

 Speedball Super Value Block Printing Kit -

 

INKS:

 Speedball Water-soluable Ink Starter Set. This is the type of ink I used when I first started blockprinting. It's the most economical option. That being said, if you are wanting to do mixed media art, ie, add watercolour to your prints, skip this option as it will bleed if you are adding watercolour paint.

 Speedball Fabric Ink. This is a great option if you are wanting to explore printing on fabric! You can also use is for paper, so if you think you might want to try both paper and fabric printing, get this ink. It cures on fabric after 7 days drying time. It doesn't require heat setting but I always do after the 7 days just to be sure. You can iron on both sides of the cloth for 3 minutes a side, moving the iron constantly, or with a heat press for 25 seconds.

You can also get a multi-pack of fabric ink here :

Speedball Professional Ink. This is the ink I use for all my paper editions. I LOVE it. It is smooth, easy-to-use, and consistent. I found the drying time very reasonable.

BRAYERS, BARONS & CARVING TOOLS:

If you are just starting out, I recommend the Speedball Multi-tool that has 5 interchangeable blades. I used this tool for two years before upgrading to the Flexcut Micro-Palm Set.

 

2" Soft Rubber Brayer. This is the size I use most frequently.

 4" Soft Rubber Brayer. Same as the 2" brayer but more surface area is covered with less effort.

Or if you know you're going to be printing bigger works, get the 6" brayer. It will save you time inking up your plate.

 Speedball Baren - This is used to imprint your image onto the paper when hand-printing. There are glass barens as well and if you're just getting started, you can use the back of a wooden spoon or the side of your fist with the squishy part of your hand to smoothly press the paper onto your printing block for an even pull.

 CARVING MATERIALS:

The two materials that I use are: Speedball Speedy Carve Rubber- 9x11.75" and Speedball Linoleum 12x18". The benefit of the pink Speedy Carve is that it is easier to carve so there's less pressure on your wrist, elbow and shoulder when carving and there's less of a chance of slipping and accidentally cutting yourself. It's also easier to clean because you can just wash it with soap and water. It's also think enough that you can carve both sides, so when learning this is a huge bonus! Down side? It's more expensive. The battleship grey linoleum will hold a crisper line/edge to your carving and it is less expensive. Down side? You need more pressure to carve, and you need to clean up with out water. I use baby wipes or a damp paper towel to wipe off excess ink. It comes down to preference. Give both a try and see what you like best.

 

TOOL SHARPENING:

Flexcut Slipstrop. This is a honing tool designed to keep your tools sharp. I highly recommend using this between carving sessions to ensure your tools stay sharp. A dull blade is a sure fire way to end up slipping and cutting yourself by accident.

 

PAPERS:

First up is tracing paper. This is what I use to transfer all my drawing and sketches to rubber and lino. It's tried and true and works every time.

 

Ok, so here's the thing. Good paper is expensive. My biggest recommendation is to go to your local art store and look at full sheets of printmaking paper because  every person will have their own preference in printing papers and it truly is trial and error to find what you prefer. Some people love printing with super thin washi paper, and others like a thick paper that needs to be soaked in water. This will take trial and error from you to decide what kind of paper you like best. If you are hand printing, you may want to try a thinner paper that will require less pressure when printing than a super heavy stock. Take this section with a grain of salt because once you start experimenting, you will undoubtedly have a preference.

For thin paper, try this washi paper 11"x 60ft.

It comes in a convenient roll which allows you to tear your paper to size with ease without taking up a ton of space. It's also economical for the price to the amount of paper you get. Keep in mind, if you are wanting to make mixed media work and add other mediums, this may not be the paper for you.

Deserres Mixed Media Paper 14x17", 75 pages, 160gsm

This pad of paper is a great purchase if you're going to explore with mixed media, you can print, paint, draw on it and with its heavier weight it will stand up. It is also a great purchase with the larger size of 14x17" and can easily be torn to smaller sizes with a good ruler.

Finally, this is the type of paper I use.

Arnhem 1618. I order it in bulk in sheets sized 22x30" from several different art stores depending on whether anyone has sales going on because like I said earlier, good paper is expensive, and when it come to printmaking paper, this one is on the lower price range. 

This is the 11x14" pad with 15 sheets. What I love about this paper is that is has a smooth vellum finish and it has a gsm of 245 which means that I can add watercolour paint without the worry that the paper will warp instantly. The versatility of this paper is amazing and I have been using it pretty exclusively since 2019.

FABRIC MATERIAL:

Flour sack tea towels. I love printing on these tea towels. They are large, thin and square. They are perfect to tie-dye and for block-printing or silk-screening. As a tea towel they are pretty absorbent unlike a lot of tea-towels. They are great just to have on hand because you can use them for polishing glasses, and they are big enough that you can use them as a scarf.

 

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