Print-Making with a Rolling Mill

Print-Making with a Rolling Mill

GUEST FEATURE by  Gunilla Redelius of

 As a jewelry maker, my rolling mill is one of my major investments, in tools and equipment, and I love it!

It allows me to press metal sheets into whatever dimensions I want. You can also create patterns on metal. For example, I can take a pattern on copper  then press that pattern onto a silver sheet. I  can also press paper, lace, leaves or other things, to leave an imprint on the metal.

I enjoy color-printing too,  I’ve attended some workshops and courses in the past, mostly with linoleum, but I’ve also experimented with mezzotint. Making a color print and pressing  pattern on metal are two different things, but there is something in both processes that attracts me.

1. The surface: In the making of jewelry, a tiny variance in the surface allows for a pattern, or in the case of printing,  determines where to apply the ink, and thereby, the defining of the image. Such variations,  allow for a wonderful subtlety of effects.

2. The positive/negative: The final result, whether on metal sheets or on paper, is the reverse of your original. For example, on linoleum, the area you engrave will be free of ink, and thus print white. 

3. The “piece-in-between”: For jewelry, this is the sheet on which you create your first pattern, and will then roll against your actual work piece. For print, it is the linoleum/copper/(other) sheet, on which you cut/etch the image, then add ink to make the print. While working on this “piece in-between,” you cannot yet visualize the result, and that makes it so exciting.  If you need to adjust something afterwards, you have to go back to that first piece and change something there, and then press/print again.

Here are two helpful print-making videos:

Linoleum print demonstration by Jess (one of the nice things with lino cut is that you can print it at home, without a press).

Printing Mezzotint, which requires a real print press, but allows for amazing results.


Leave a Reply