Printing: Collagraphs

A couple of years ago I did an amazing collagraph workshop with Jet James.  Read more about it and see some of my prints here.

Time has passed and I’ve done many more things since then but I’ve always had Jet in mind.  I love his own artworks, I love the techniques he taught us and I still love the print plate I produced in the workshop.

Yesterday it was time to get it back out and reprint it.

My preference, for my own practice, has always been stylization.  I don’t have either the interest or skill to produce realism in my work.  Simplification, minimalism and the general idea of the subject is where my hand and mind tend to go.  Yes, I’ve spent many, many an hour fighting this and trying to produce work in other forms but all that happens is that I create a brain-block.

So my goal yesterday was to reprint this foamex collagraph plate, keeping the mood I previously created but adding to the colour range.  I chose Pthalo Blue and Sepia.

So, two quite reasonable prints, each with different good and not-so-good points.

Left hand print: The colour balance isn’t great, too much blue which I should have kept towards the upper part.  Great highlights on the lower flowers and also the slight highlighted areas on the vase tops has come out well.  I need to improve on that next time.

The vigorous rubbing back on the lower section, created by crumpled and slashed masking tape, has produced really excellent texture.

Right hand print: Much better colour placement.  Slight error along the top edge where the ink isn’t evenly spread, but not significant in the overall piece.  Not enough rubbing back on the lower masking tape area.  Overall, a nice clean image but with a lack of highlights.  I wonder how additional hand-colouring on this might work?


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.
This entry was posted in My Creative Pieces, My prints and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Printing: Collagraphs

  1. Hi Claire – good to see you come back to this exiting technique. I have been reading your old posts with great interest, and the workshop that you and Judy took with Jet James stand out for me is some really innovative. I have been toying with the idea of trying his/your methods (sadly I can’t come to one of his classes). I have to experiment on my own. Friday I tried with something called depron, but I think it is too soft. I have not yet found the Foamex plate here. this above looks as if you printed it with a press – if not I think you did super well with the rubbbing. I love your style – I too am not able to do realism. I simply can’t make it work. But when the result are a god as this here I think the trade is in your favour.

    • Claire B says:

      Hi Inger. I don’t know where you are located but I get the foamex board from my local hardware store (Bunnings). It comes in large sheets with a thin plastic covering on one side which can be peeled off. It is a white densely packed product with a very smooth plastic like feel to the surface. Very easy to indent, quite easy to cut with fine lino tools and knives but a little more challenging with bigger lino tools. It takes gels, gesso and other mediums well and most sticky tapes (masking tape, duct tape and so on) can be stuck to the surface for added texture. Yes, I print through a press on damp 250gsm paper.
      I’ve looked up Depron and it doesn’t seem to be the right thing. It doesn’t look like it has a smooth surface or the density needed to carve and hold shape.
      Enjoy your experimentation. Claire.

      • Dear Claire, thank you for taking the time to explain so well. I agree is can’t be depron if run through a press several times. Exiting – I am based in Barcelona at the moment (with access to rented studio with press). So I might have a try at the hardware store again. I have actually seen a PE with a thing cling-plastic (I use a 1mm for mixing inks). Super smooth. most likely they have 3 mm too. Thanks a million again. I am having a blast with the collagraphy part – but sooo many things I want to try. But as in your case it can be something to come back to. Today I did a simple collage plate with yarns and filler. Thanks again so much for the sharing. Best wishes Inger W

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