After making my original collagraph I decided to try and experiment more within this technique. As a start I wanted to see if I could create a reversed effect, for this is used a roller to roll ink onto the plate and then printed it. I’m glade I tried this because It changed the result dramatically.
After doing this I wanted to take my experimenting further, my next development is to go from under A5 to A1. I also want to try a more relief style collagraph, for this I thought of making this plate in a more 3D style.
For this I decided to try and use string to so it will have a low relief. This will also cause the paper to have a risen 3D print on the back, this could be a fascinating idea to develop.
I order to do this I used a A1 mount board and drew out the design I wished for. I used wool and PVA glue to slowly place it down. Once dried I painted the whole thing with shellac so it holds better but is also water proof.
when inking the plate up, at first, I wanted it to be clean and just lines but as I was in the process of inking I decided to be a little more loose and started to let the ink so where the roller would touch when just rolling over it. This left a blocky college look that I have been convinced to love.
This was the final look of just printing the collagraph and I really like it, the next thing I want to try is adding colour but I’m not exactly sure how I want to do that right now. All I know is I don’t want to do it with just ink and a roller. As I feel there is a much more interesting and effective way of adding colour.
next I will be trying etching and my plan is to do a black an white experiment etching and then try and add colour to both the etching and the collagraph, as I feel it might help me to be more loose if I can bounce between the two and use them to help the other. I also have plans to try out making a background before printing the collagraph but I’m not sure how I want the back ground so I need to do some experimenting on this.
Collagraph is a process of a printing plate that has an abundance of different textures to create a print. It was first seen in 1955 when Glen alps used it, the word ‘collagraph’ comes from a Greek word and in simple terms means to glue/ graph (to draw). Near to anything can be used, due to this being a relief printing method the only setback is the material being glue on has to have a low relife (this is when the relief patern is shallow,for example string, a leaf or mount board when cut).
While researching I discovered this video on YouTube presenting a simple homemade collagraph. Due to COVID I really like this technique as it’s simple to do from home. But this is also interesting as I could involved a lot of natural resources to create my prints. The women shows how you can create simple patterns with this method and can be used for the main print or as a background.
When desinging my relife print, i decided to develop a drawing i did last year for print (made in febuary 2021). I wanted to manipulate the blossom and snake skull to keep to the theme of beauty and ugliness, the skull would represent ugliness and the blossom is beauty (i fine skulls and bones beautifull but in this project im using them in a different light).
I decided to keep it simple as this was my first time experimenting within collagraph printing, i drew out the flowers and then added the snake skull behind. This shows the concept of when looking at anyhting weather its the world, a person or a relationship you might see the beauty but if you look harder there is always some kind of ugliness with in it.
On the left side is the plate I made. I found it challenging to Get my head around what textures are needed to hold enough ink in order to a have different gradients of black at first. Once I grasped an understanding I really enjoyed making this plate. Once the plate is ready and all glue (if used) is dry then you can apply a layer of varnish, for this I used shellac. Shellac is a substance that make the plate in a sense more water proof helping It to stay strong and give a better print due to being able to wipe ink off.
The varnish is applided in a room with an air vacuum and the left to dry. Next i appiled an oil-based black ink the used some scrim to take off all the extra ink before printing. When printing you place some news print on the etching press then place the plate facing upwards… on top of the plate lay on some dampened cartage paper and the some more news print.
Just the normal mount board surface creates a mid-tone grey (e.g the outside grey)
cuts (with a stanley knife)
This creates black lines (e.g the lines inside the flowers)
first layer taken off the mount board
This creates a much darker tone…. Basically black (e.g around the skull and flowers)
Glue / any shiney surface
This creates highlights (e.g highlights on tge skull and flowers)
How the ink reacts to different textures (there are loads more materials you can use)
I found this process intresting, I want to develop this technique further. Therefore I am going to create a piece on a much bigger scale, my first collagraph was smaller than A5, i am now going to design an A1 collagraph. I also want to take it one step further and print onto the print that comes out from the collagraph.