Print 1. Project 12: Representational collatype plate

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.

P12-Coll1The ‘wallpaper’ was made using offcuts of printing paper put through an embossing machine.

P12-Coll2Once 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.

P12-Coll3The sideboard, mirror, lampshade & stand and the top and bottom railings are made from mountboard.

P12-Coll4The 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.

P12-Coll5The cupboard drawers were cut out of the surround, filed to minimally reduce their size, refitted into the correct spaces and then a curved/scoop lino tool made the handles.

P12-Coll7Flooring linoleum was cut for the cupboard feet and the lamp base.  A twisted cord from crochet cotton forms the cable running to the socket and the mirror hanger.

P12-Coll6For the bowl and vase I used cardboard covered with a small plastic mash – hope it doesn’t fall off when printing.  These were inserted into cut out areas of the cupboard.

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.

P12-Coll8The 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.


About Claire B

I am a passionate printmaker, paper maker and book artist. I'm a 'forever' student and frequently attend courses and workshops to extend and improve my creative skills.
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2 Responses to Print 1. Project 12: Representational collatype plate

  1. some great techniques and surfaces here

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