Design Play: Exercise – collagraph abstraction

I’ve moved away from the source book I was using for my exercises and am following my own direction.  The book helped a lot when I was a bit lacking in creativity but now I’m back up and running I’ve a head full of ideas.

The goal: To create coloured abstract backgrounds to further print over.  At this point I’m interested in overlapping water droplets, splodges and the like.

Method: Unquestionably, the way to successfully achieve my goal is to acid etch into metal sheet (I usually use zinc) but I don’t have access to the equipment in the studio at this point.  We are set up for collagraphs and monoprinting.

I was doubtful I would get what I’m looking for through collagraphs but I made three small test plates as an experiment anyway.

Clockwise from top left: mountboard, multiple drops of layered Shellac sprinkled with carborundum, sealed with Shellac; mountboard, dribbled satin varnish sprinkled with carborundum, sealed with more varnish; mountboard with squished dimensional accent (sort of piped glue), liberally coated with carborundum, sealed with varnish.

The Shellac plate was an unmitigated disaster.

Whilst the Shellac layers are quite defined – and you can easily feel the definition as you run your finger over them – the carborundum has leveled out across the surface.  I was very careful to selectively apply the carborundum but while the Shellac was still wet it spread itself evenly throughout.

The satin varnish plate was a little more successful in that there is a lot more definition in the design from the layers.  The ink has grabbed well in the recesses between layers and brush marks also have good ink patterning.  Hmmmm…. yeah, OK, very underwhelming.

This piped scrapbooking accent stuff was squeezed across the surface of the mountboard before I spread it with a scraper, before heavily sprinkling with the carborundum.

To be fair, the plate has done the job of printing its surface very well but it’s just not what I’m looking for.

Would have been great for my last project, Other World, but not for what I have in mind as a base for what I have coming up next.

I think some smoother monoprinted colours might be more of what I’m looking for.


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 Design Play, My Creative Pieces and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Design Play: Exercise – collagraph abstraction

  1. westdeanie says:

    Experimentation is all good – keep going!

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