From the limited edition "Nudes Embraced" series.
"Nudes Embraced" is a series of six linocut prints by Christine Nikander. Christine created the series in 2020, during the global Covid-19 pandemic. The series celebrates the diversity and strength of women. That is also why some of the women in the nudes are literally edgy, some have very broad shoulders and close to all of them deviate from conventional beauty standards.
Due to the nature of linocut printing, no two prints will be fully identical. Each nude in the series is produced as a limited edition of 100 handmade prints. The prints are numbered at the bottom right accordingly and they are signed by the artist. 10% of the sales price of each print that is sold is donated to a network of different women’s organisations that work to combat the trafficking of women and to protect the human rights of women.
The Process Behind the Printing
A brief explanation of linocut printmaking.
Step 1: Sketching
It all starts with picking up a pencil and sketching. The size of the print needs to be kept in mind, because this determines the level of the details that can be made visible on the print. The lines in the sketch need to be clean and somewhat simple, in order for the design to translate well into a linocut.
Once a design is finished, the lines are redrawn with a thick black marker. The lines you draw with the marker should be visible on the backside of the paper. This is done to make it possible to transfer the design onto the lino, in the following step.
Step 2: Getting the Lino Ready
In this step, the positioning of the design on the lino is determined. Using carbon paper, the design is carefully transferred onto the surface of the lino.
When transferring the design onto the lino, the design needs to be mirrored. The print will only look the same as in the sketch, if this mirroring is done. For this, the sketch needs to be turned upside down. As lines from the black marker will show through the page, they can be easily traced in mirror.
With the help of the carbon paper, the lines have been transferred onto the lino. The lines are now traced with a ballpoint pen to make them more clearly visible.
Step 3: Carving
The carving is done in three stages:
- First, the exterior of the design is removed.
- Second, the insides of the design are removed.
- As a final step, the cut is fine-tuned to make sure the lines will print crisply onto the paper.
Step 4: Test Printing
After the initial carving is done, a set of test prints are run in order to see how the print translates onto the page. This step is demonstrated in the videos below.
Where necessary, more lino may be removed from the cut and a new test print will then be done to examine the new result.
Step 5: Making the Final Prints
Using an inking roller, paint is carefully and evenly applied to the surface of the print. The print is then turned around and placed flat onto a sheet of paper.
Using a clean inking roller, pressure is carefully applied to the back of the cut. The cut is then peeled off the page, leaving a wonderful print on the paper.
Once done, the print is numbered by hand and signed.