Friday, 16 August 2013

Kitchen Lithography

I came across this video on the website Printeresting on facebook recently and thought I'd give it a whirl. It describes how to use items from your kitchen to create lithography-type prints. How cool would that be?! I love the qualities of lithography but have never been able to try it for real.

The discussion below the video helps to puzzle out what some of the materials are as the video has no narration. One of the respondents Inkteraction generously provided their English translation of the materials and so here's what I did, making a few simplifications and using products at hand in NZ:

Gather materials: Plastic cutting mat (unused), aluminium foil, white vinegar, cola, vegetable oil, paper towels, chinagraph pencil, sellotape

Sellotape the foil to the plastic cutting mat and smooth it out.
Wipe the foil down with the white vinegar to clean it.
BEWARE any greasy fingerprints WILL print.
Draw your image onto the foil with a chinagraph pencil.
Hold the plate over the sink and pour over the cola, allowing it to sit for about 7 seconds to etch into the foil.
Rinse under cold water.

Clean the chinagraph pencil away using the vegetable oil on a paper towel.
Wet the plate with a damp towel.
Your image should show up as the oil repels the water from the areas of your drawing.

Using oil-based printing ink and keeping the plate wet with water, roll out the ink thinly and ink up.
This is where you will see any extra greasy finger prints that you left behind!

With the press set tightly, print on a smooth paper - I have just used cartridge paper here.
If you don't have access to a press you can print by using the back of a spoon to burnish the back of your paper.

The print shows up the lovely grainy textures of the drawing - just like grown-up's lithograhy without the massive stone. Give it a go! 


  1. Hi Toni
    What a great idea for DIY lithography and well explained. Great to meet you at the 100 Days coffee at Alleluya and see your stunning drawings close up. Your other work is so beautiful too. Cheers, Frances


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