If you are ready to dive into woodcut printmaking and need supplies, this list is for you! These are the supplies I first purchased when I started woodcut printmaking, many of which I still use today.
Where to Buy:
Printmaking supplies are easy to find online and locally. I encourage you to shop at your local art store. I highly recommend Wet Paint in St. Paul (they ship everywhere, too!). Joy & Co. in Grand Marais has basic relief supplies. If shopping locally is not possible, then Blick will have everything you need.
Affiliate links: I am a Blick affiliate partner. If you click the Blick links below, I might receive a small commission at no cost to you. This is an easy way for you to support my business! I will only link supplies that I personally use and enjoy, unless otherwise noted. To ensure that I receive a commission, please place your Blick order within 24 hours of clicking any of the links to Blick's website below. Thank you!
Specialty Tools for Woodcut Printmaking:
Wood carving tools: My brand of choice is Flexcut Tools, which are high quality and easy to care for. My first set of tools was the Flexcut Lino & Relief Set. It is a great starter set.
Polishing/Sharpening Tools: For best performance of your carving tools, you will need a slipstrop. In lieu of sharpening, Flexcut tools are kept sharp by polishing the tools in between use.
Wood blocks: My favorite blocks to use are Shina - a Japanese plywood. These need to be special ordered from McClain's. I also use Baltic Birch, which can be found at your local lumber yard.
Basic Relief Supplies (That you might already have!):
If you have already tried your hand at block printing on rubber or linoleum blocks, you probably have these supplies already. The following supplies work for either block printing or woodcut printmaking.
Brayer: A brayer is the tool that rolls out the ink. I prefer the Speedball soft brayer. The 4" size is a good option for your first brayer.
Baren: A baren helps transfer the image to the paper. This is an optional tool; a large spoon (preferably wooden) works great too.
Ink: I recommend Akua Intalgio or Cranfield Caligo inks. Both of these inks are water soluble, which means they easily clean-up with soap and water. You will need at least one ink color to begin printmaking.
Inking Plate: You will need a surface to roll out your ink. It needs to be at least the width of your brayer. You can purchase an inking plate or find something at home to use. A piece of glass, plexiglass, or even a baking sheet work great.
Palette Knife: If you plan to mix colors, you will want a mixing tool. Printmakers typically use palette knives, but tongue depressors/popsicle sticks, paintbrushes, and spoons will also work.
Paper: There are many types of printmaking papers. I recommend Stonehenge as an affordable, adaptable paper that comes in multiple colors.