Collagraph ‘Journey’ – experimentation

During the 5 day residential collagraph course I attended in January I created several plates and today I’m showing one that was made as a trial for a larger piece of work.

I started by cutting away 2 sections from the mountboard (retaining a smaller square) and tearing into the surrounding layers. I then carved lines into it, which reminded me of roads – hence the title ‘Journey’. This was followed by adding various other textural elements, and finished with Shellac (as per the class requirement, not my choice as previously stated).

The inks in this workshop weren’t a brand I’m familiar with so it was fun to try them out, and they were mostly mixed by the tutor 50/50 with translucent extender medium.

The first print, on the left, I felt was very heavy. The tonal variety is on its way but not yet happening. I liked the green but decided to try something less acidic. The second print is terrible. No matter how careful I was and how much I tried to wipe back specific areas I got an even worse outcome, although I like the orange effect.

The solution to this issue is to reapply more Shellac in some areas so it becomes easier to remove ink in selected places, thereby creating a wider tonal range. This is something I didn’t have time for in the class and may revisit in the future. Frankly, as it’s a test for something else I might not.

The Shellac solution was mixed 50/50 flakes with meths. It dried very quickly but I’m not convinced it’s giving me what I want. We all work differently and I’m not criticising the tutor because he is getting the effects he wants from his method, but I prefer varnishing instead.

On Friday I revisited the plate. Since the workshop I’ve purchased the same brand of ink and they’re lovely. The colours & consistency are super, and they’re easy to spread.

The left sample has been inked in grey instead of the harsher black from the two previous attempts. It still hasn’t worked well and the red colour isn’t strong enough. Without cleaning the plate I applied Sanguine over the surface, adding a little extra grey here and there, and on the focal square. It’s a vast improvement when measured against the others.

So what has been learned from this experimentation?

  • I still don’t like Shellac sealer.
  • Altering a colour scheme can improve a print to a certain degree but when the hardware: i.e. the print matrix, isn’t up to par there’s only so much you can do to improve the printed outcome before you need to return to the matrix itself and make changes.
  • I like the cut and re-inserted square, so will use that concept going forward.

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.

4 Responses to Collagraph ‘Journey’ – experimentation

  1. hawahc says:

    Thanks for sharing, I would still be thrilled if I presented something like that!

    • Claire B says:

      It’s a really good example of an experiment, what you can learn from it and where improvements can be made. I’ll be posting the larger print I made which followed on from this trial.

  2. Pingback: More collagraph experimentation | TactualTextiles

  3. Pingback: Project: Stratification | TactualTextiles

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s