Collagraph printing: Tree bark

Continuing to play with the collagraph plate I made in the workshop with Gabriella Hegyes (see initial print left) I’ve been trying to get some variety in colour and outcome before I move to a larger, more complex, piece.

When I used sand to form the top parts of the collagraph plate, then sealed it, I didn’t realise that it would be so difficult to apply printing ink to it.  Rolling isn’t an option as the ink doesn’t adhere to the tiny sand particles, so I was left with dabbing the surface with inked tarlatan. 

This can result in flooded areas and an uneven printed surface as per my sample.

Above left: Flooded and uneven top sections, good relief from the masking tape.  Ink removed from the high points on the lower areas has come out extremely well.
Above right: Too far the other way on the upper sections, not enough ink.  I tried dabbing the lower areas with ochre ink and rolling the surface with black but the black has bled as it was probably too runny to get the right effect.  Nice idea but not finessed yet.

Above left: Trying out adding more colour, hate it.  An even worse black roll over the lower area.  One for recycling!
Above right: OK, getting there.  Love the effects on the lower section but it could do with more ochre coming through.  Still need to work on applying ink to the upper sections but it’s improving.

(Note: To be honest, the first print I ever did from this plate is the best.  I didn’t agonize over it or over-plan, and it’s come out better than the rest.)

Time to make my bigger collagraph plate and decide on my colour scheme.


About Claire B

I'm a passionate printmaker, paper-maker and a poor sketcher (which I'm working to improve). I've stitched from early childhood and am a perpetual student, loving learning and participating in everything creative.
This entry was posted in My Creative Pieces, My prints and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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