Making the print plate
I’ve spent the last week creating my retro 1950s living room collagraph plate and it’s been great fun. Coming from a model-making background means that I enjoy messing around with small components and putting them together to create something. However, in the past, I’ve always made proper 3D models and not raised surfaces attached to a background. The main difference is that this is going to be printed so even though there are multiple things glued to the base they need to be of similar heights so the paper will reach each section and pick up the ink.
Once embossed, the folder was turned over so the indented circles could be seen. These were then filled with modelling paste and left to set. I’m hoping this will avoid them compressing and becoming squashed through the press too quickly.
The balusters were cut from large paddle-pop sticks which was unbelievably difficult. The wood was so dense and hard to score and each length took an age to do. They were then individually cut to size and sanded with a jewellery file, before glueing in place.
For the rug I painstakingly cut 12cm wide strips of tissue paper, folded them into much narrower lengths and glued. Once I had around 10 strips I cut a base from paper offcut and wove the rug onto this, glueing as I went.
The edges were turned to the back and glued down. Looks great but I’m apprehensive about how I’ll get it to print. I suspect I’ll lose the woven appearance and end up with just a mass of squares. The remainder of the floor is cut string mesh glued in place.
Layers of varnish as a sealer are currently underway and I hope to print in a couple of days once it has cured. At this stage I’m very happy with the plate and it will be amazing to see how it translates into print. This isn’t the simplest of designs (despite my mantra to simplify, simplify, simplify) but it works for me so let’s see how it goes on paper. Fingers crossed.