Simplifying collagraphs

In September 2017 I attended a workshop where I created several collagraph and drypoint plates, supposedly designed to be printed together. The plates have been stored since then as I was never 100% happy with the results and didn’t really know how to use them in a more effective way.

We were given some thin board, I’d hesitate to say mountboard as it had a more textural surface than my usual mountboard. Pieces were cut to size and sealed with Shellac. We then added dimension and texture on top of the Shellac.

I ‘drew’ with runny PVA glue, and then sprinkled with carborundum, on my first plate. The next one was supposed to be trees and I painted impasto paste along the trunks.

These were allowed to dry then printed with other media to create layers. I noted at the time how happy I was with the results but 6 years on, and very much more experienced, I realise what a lot of mistakes I made and how average the prints were.

Last week I reprinted the glue and carborundum plate. I inked the design in black with a blended rollover from yellow/orange to red. The rollover was very harsh and due to the height of the raised areas it didn’t look great so, using tissue paper, I gently rubbed it back and spread it more evenly, and lightly, across some of the background.

    Full print and detail section

    It’s a vast improvement on the original and when examining the back of the print it’s clear to see how much pressure was applied to get into every crevice.

    Nothing beats trial and error, time and experience – that’s why I never throw any old printing plates away. It’s good to rummage through and revisit things that might not have worked so well first (or second) time around.


    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 Simplifying collagraphs

    1. hawahc says:

      I love that one with the black “thingy!”

      • Claire B says:

        It was originally a very stylized line drawing of a plant head which has now been rotated 90 degrees on to its side and redrawn with runny glue. Hence the reason it’s now unrecognizable. Just what I like: something randomly abstracted.

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