Collagraph: Lines & Boxes

I’m enjoying exploring new collagraph materials and these 15cm square bases give enough space to quickly create small unified pieces.

Stage 1

For this plate I started with varnished mountboard which I lightly sanded to get a roughened surface.

Lines were cut and sections removed from the mountboard surface.

The aim was to wipe away ink from the flat varnished areas while retaining solid coverage in the recessed cut parts.

The first print is never the best. I’m told it’s like making pancakes; the first isn’t usually perfect. However, what has come through is the sanded textural surface and reasonable retention of ink in the shapes.

Stage 2 & 3

I kept the plate as is but added chine colle (below left). As this method has the collage sitting behind the printing it appears very flat.

A while ago I hand made some paper over a sushi mat, which created a ridged sheet once dry. I cut strips and adhered them to the plate surface (below right). Using a stencil over 2 of the plate corners I pushed heavy gloss medium through to create more boxes on top of my original cut out areas.

As the medium dried it sunk into the recesses, giving a variable height to the now raised surface, so some ink was retained when printing but not enough to make this a worthwhile outcome

The textured paper printed well though.

Stage 4

The plate needed more complexity. I cut pieces of adhesive aluminium tape and applied them, pressing into the recessed grooves where they overlapped. I also scratched lines in selected areas. Once the plate was inked and rubbed back I ran a stiff piece of paper over the high points of the textured paper areas. This removed the ink, bringing up a better definition in those parts.

But I still had to work on the gloss medium areas although, overall, the print is working reasonably well. Best colour scheme so far – yes, there were other trials that I won’t be sharing!

Stage 5

The gloss medium boxes wouldn’t hold much ink so I reapplied the stencil over the shapes and painted some abrasive modelling medium over the top of them. I gave them a coat of satin varnish to seal.

In the piece above, the ink held well in the 2 corner sections but I over-wiped the rest of the plate, and I’m not thrilled with the colour scheme. Should have stuck with the sepia and black.

Stage 6

I was happy with the look of the plate but wanted to achieve a difference in colour between the solid blocks and the lines between them.

I was running out of time on that particular day, but we all know what happens in printmaking when you let go of the angst (“I really want the perfect print!”), things happen by themselves because there’s no time to overthink and overwork it.

Not the ‘perfect’ print but a great improvement.

Stage 6

I added stitching to some of them.

Don’t ever consider taking up printmaking unless you have unlimited patience, enough money to purchase reams of paper and the realisation that exact results are usually out of your control.


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.

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