THE painstaking art of lino printing will be on display at the Lost Trades Fair this weekend, representing one of the more modern crafts in danger of slipping from use.
Bendigo artist Alicia Thomas will display her work alongside blacksmiths with suits of armor and penny farthing builders at the Bendigo Racecourse on March 19 and 20.
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She said that while her craft was far more modern than many others at the fair, it nonetheless faced being swept away by newer technologies.
She uses a print press that was built in Castlemaine and assembled piece by piece at her Strathdale studio.
The heavy machinery is a far cry from a laser printer.
"It's a slow process and very hands-on. It requires good quality paper and inks and tools to do it," Thomas said.
"First you draw your design, then you transfer it and cut it into the lino, then you use a brayer (ink roller) to roll it out. You can hear when the ink is the right consistency because it makes a sticking sound and you need to listen for it. Then you tear the paper to create a torn edge before putting it into the printer.
"It's so much cheaper to quicker to press a button on your computer and use a digital printer."
The art technique, popular with Picasso, is painstaking work which also has a distinctly meditative quality to it. Some of Thomas's most recent works involve magpies which often gather on her veranda at home.
"A friend was talking to me while I was cutting a design into lino recently and she told me it was very mentally relaxing to watch. It's definitely one of those slow processes."
Thomas will give demonstrations of lino printing at her stall during the Lost Trades Fair, where she will use a much smaller hand press technique.
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