This Christmas, surprise the budding linocut artist in your life with a thoughtful and practical gift that celebrates their passion for printmaking. Whether they enjoy craft making and want to try lino printing for the first time or have more experience, the right gifts can bring joy to their creative process.
In this blog, I’ve recommended my top ten gift ideas. From affordable lino printing kits to high-quality Pfeil cutting tools, these gifts are sure to inspire creativity.
1. High-quailty linocut tools
Good quality lino tools are on every artist’s wish list. They’re the best present you could ask for! They’re a dream to work with, ensuring smooth carving and precise details in their linocut prints. I use Pfeil cutting tools to carve my lino blocks. Pfeil tools can be sharpened so that they will last a lifetime.
Choosing which tools to buy is a personal choice. I use V-shape gouges for carving lines and U-shaped gouges to clear away any areas I don’t want to print. If you’d like to read more, see my linocut tools blog.
Pfeil cutting tools sets
I bought the LSC set, which I love and I use all of them.
Single Pfeil cutting tools
Below are a few suggested sizes.
Small V-shape gouge: L 11/0.5 for carving fine lines and details.
Medium V-shape gouge L 12/4 for carving lines.
Small U-shape gouge: L 9/2 for carving lines and clearing small areas.
Large U-shape gouge L8/7 for clearing large areas.
2. Lino printing starter set
Handprinted.co.uk sells a wide selection of lino printing kits and bundles. They're very helpful if you need advice on what to buy. Prices range from £15 to £44.
The linocut beginners bundle from Handprinted - Contains a choice of Caligo Safewash Ink (oil-based but water soluble) or Schmincke water-based ink, plus Japanese cutting tools, Essdee blue handle roller, traditional grey lino, a bamboo barren and printing paper.
The make your own card bundle from Handprinted - Contains SoftCut lino, Essdee lino cutters, a Versafine ink pad and blank cards.
Block printing kit for fabric and paper available from Handprinted - Contains MasterCut blocks and Versacraft Ink Pads.
Alternatively, make your own kit with these items from Handprinted.co.uk.
3. Gift an experience with a gift voucher for a linocut workshop
We live in a world of too much stuff, so why not gift an experience instead? What’s nicer than spending quality time with friends or family?
Workshops provide hands-on experience, allowing participants to learn the intricacies of linocut from a professional linocut artist. It's a chance to give lino printing a go, see if they like it and learn new skills.
“Trying out new skills and learning something new. Confidence to try something different. Lovely relaxed atmosphere, useful links and trips, very supportive and encouraging to all abilities.”
“Great, welcoming, relaxed atmosphere. Learning something completely new and coming away with a finished product! Thank you!”
“Learning how to make a linocut. I love this style of art. And creating my own design. It was a great moment seeing my first print!”
My one-day introduction to linocut print workshops is £90 per person, including materials, drinks and homemade cake. They’re limited to 4 students per workshop, so you get lots of one-to-one teaching. I’m always happy to do bespoke dates for groups of 4 friends or family. Find out more on my linocut workshops page.
Gift vouchers are available for linocut workshops in my York studio. Get in touch to order.
Contact me if you would like to gift one of my online linocut courses.
4. A set of printing inks
Printing ink set is essential for achieving consistent ink coverage on linocut blocks and prints. Cheap block printing inks can be frustrating, and no matter how good you are at printing, they still produce patchy prints.
Hawthorn Stay Open Ink Set
Professional quality oil-based ink for block printing on paper. These are the inks I use.
The ink set contains 5 x 115gm pots of ink from the transparent range. Crimson, cobalt blue, cadmium yellow, dense black and transparent. Approx £30.50 at Hawthorn Printmaking Supplies.
Caligo Safe Wash Relief Printing Ink Set
Professional quality oil-based ink for block printing on paper. The ink set contains 6 x 75ml tubes of ink in Process Blue, Process Red, Process Yellow, Black, Opaque White and Extender. Approx £45.60 at Handprinted.co.uk.
5. A roller or brayer
A good quality roller or brayer makes all the difference to the quality of your finished prints. A beginner's roller is about £5, but for the more experienced linocut artist, treat them to a good quality roller. I use Hawthorn Printmaking Supplies 6” and 3” ‘student’ medium rubber rollers. The rollers are 38 Shore. A 6" roller is approx £40.
6. A glass baren
A baren is used to transfer the ink from a lino block to the paper. These beautiful glass printers' barens are handmade by glass artist Thomas Peitit Glass in Derbyshire. Each baren is individually handmade and available in 12 beautiful colours and 3 sizes. I’d recommend the medium size barren. Price £48.
7. A subscription to a printmaking magazine
Pressing Matters magazine is an inspiring magazine celebrating modern printmaking. It’s my favourite magazine. Available quarterly for £10 each or yearly subscription for £36 plus shipping. Yearly digital subscriptions are available for £20.
8. Inspiring linocut and printmaking books
From how to make linocut print books to coffee table books about inspirational linocut artists and printmakers, see a selection of my favourite books in this blog.
9. An original linocut print
I’ve always loved the style of linocut print. Even though I now make linocut prints, I still like buying other artist’s prints. These hand-printed postcard-sized linocut prints are £25 each or 3 for £70. Available unframed, so you can gift them as they are or pop them into a standard off-the-shelf photo frame. The prints are available in my online shop and can be posted or picked up from my York studio.
10. An Apple Pencil or tablet stylus
I often use the Procreate app and my Apple Pencil to sketch and plan design ideas on my iPad. If you think they’d like to draw digitally, treat them to an Apple Pencil or tablet stylus. Check the compatibility with their device. From £79.
I hope that's given you a few ideas. If you have any questions please do get in touch.
If you'd like more detailed advice on tools and materials, look at my blog's Linocut hints and tips section.
Lino printing workshops and online courses
Would you like to learn how to make a linocut print?
I teach in-person linocut workshops in my studio in York, North Yorkshire. I also teach linocut print online courses. Learn at your own pace, anywhere worldwide and start at any time.
About the author
Michelle Hughes is a North Yorkshire linocut artist. Much of her work depicts the Yorkshire landscape and Yorkshire coast, including the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors.
Michelle loves exploring the British countryside by bike or on foot, camera in hand, capturing ideas for her next linocut prints. Back in her garden studio, Michelle creates simple but stylised silhouettes based on her photographs, and hand carves these shapes into lino. She hand prints with an etching press, using oil-based inks to create tonal blocks of colour. Michelle’s original linocut prints are limited editions.