paper cut design for lino cut prints

Recently I created this paper cut design drawing influence from origami flowers. To maintain the images shape, paper cut requires that everything be linked by joining paper and that white space be cut from design without cutting into other white space and essentially leaving paper string connecting everything. I like the challenge of having to pre-think a strategy for cutting out a design and it is a nice thought the finished design is totally connected. The effect is appealing and it has other applications.

I felt the property would look nice in a printed form so I have been using my paper cut as a template to create lino cuts. Much of Japan’s traditional design is derived from wood block printing. Lino cut is a much easier medium to work with and the results and texture vary. I like the control of line you can achieve with lino cut.


First tracing the template and then removing the white areas with a knife. I found there were a few important things to remember.

  • Keep a border around the edge of your block for when it comes to inking the board and printing, it helps a lot.
  • Try use the cutting direction as a texture. It requires a really deep cut if you want a completely white area in the negative space. I personally like to use the lines of the cut and it works well with my paper cut designs as a base.


I am pleased but even with these quite rigid grooves I created when cutting out this design, I found the result on the printed paper was very light and subtle. A lot of the texture in the print has come from the ink and how it is applied to the block. Something to experiment with. Check out the results of finished prints.

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