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221126|26th November 2022|At the Cutting Edge - Blade Sharpening

At the Cutting Edge - Blade Sharpening


This course is now full. You may contact us to discuss alternative courses or be added to the waiting list in case of cancellations.

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Location Leicester Print Workshop
Date & Time Saturday 26th November 2022
10.00am - 1.00pm
Tutor  Richard Renouf 

Maintaining razor-sharp tools for lino and wood-block cutting is a vital skill. In this hands-on course you will learn about blades and gouges, and how to maintain and care for them. You will learn about the different tools and techniques that you can use to ensure they are in the best condition at all times.

You'll make your own sharpening strop and emery board, and be able to practice what you learn on some blunt blades which will be provided. You can make your own blade from a blank and/or you can bring your own tools along for specific guidance. The skills will be useful in many other applications too.

The price includes a £10 fee for your own emery board, strop and knife blank that you will keep.

Course Structure

  • Introduction to the workshop and health and safety
  • Make your own strop and sharpening board using materials provided
  • What makes a blade? And what makes it sharp? Learn the basic principles that relate to blades, gouges and vee-gouges for print makers
  • Safe and effective stropping of straight and curved blades, gouges, vee-gouges and unusual blade shapes
  • Practice stropping using dull blades provided
  • Demonstration of diamond sharpening stones and Japanese waterstones
  • Make you own simple knife from a metal blank using materials provided
  • Open forum for questions about specific sharpening issues

Important notes

  • You will be shown how to sharpen safely, but cut-proof (carver’s) gloves or finger cots are recommended, especially if you use your fingerprint to unlock your phone!
  • You are invited to bring along a few of your own tools for specific advice if you wish

    Leicester Print Workshop 

    Leicester Print Workshop is the regional development centre for printmaking. Established by artists in 1986, we are a registered charity, supported by Arts Council England. Our RIBA award-winning building is situated in Leicester City Centre's Cultural Quarter and is home to a large, well equipped open access Printmaking Studio.

    We have over 30 years’ experience of teaching people printmaking. Our programme offers the largest number and broadest range of printmaking courses in the region, with courses suitable for beginners as well as experienced printmakers, delivered by practicing artists and nationally renowned tutors. Participants learn in small and friendly groups in our purpose-designed studio.


    Online: You can book online here by credit / debit card or Paypal.

    Telephone: You can pay by card over the phone during our opening hours (Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm). Call us on 0116 251 4174.

    In person: Call in to Leicester Print Workshop during our opening hours (Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm) to book and pay by card, cash or cheque.

    Pre-course information: We will send you details of how to find us and what to bring with you when we process your booking. 


    Full-Print Members of Leicester Print Workshop are entitled to a 10% discount on our inhouse courses. Interested in joining LPW as a member? Click here for more information.