The relief printmaking process is essentially expressed in woodcut, wood engraving and linocut, as well as some unconventional media. In this process, linocut is the preferred option, especially, by beginners, because linoleum is soft and easy to manipulate. However, the scarcity and high cost of linoleum in Nigeria present difficulties in carrying out exercises in the material. Based on this, it becomes expedient to look for alternatives, and the elastomer comes in handy as a feasible option. This paper is a comprehensive account of the studio experiences. It was an attempt to offer the elastomer as a feasible alternative to linoleum in the relief printmaking process. The objectives were to present the elastomer as a genuine substitute to linoleum, to unearth the weaknesses and strengths of elastomer against linoleum through studio experiments, and to identify the challenges of using elastomers in the relief printmaking process as well as possible ways of surmounting these challenges. The qualitative research method, through the studio experimental procedure was adopted in the investigation. Results showed that elastomers were not only good alternatives to linoleum, but were, indeed, capable of offering finer and more delicate cuttings than were attainable with linoleum.
Key words: Elastomer, linoleum, alternative, relief printmaking, weaknesses, strengths.
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