Sunday, 7 August 2016

A collagraph course

There is a relatively new arts venue in Newbury, City Arts, that offers art courses. Last week a three day workshop working on collagraphs took place, and I managed to get on it at short notice.

Over three days we were introduced to the technique, made a series of plates practicing textures and trying to make 'finished' designs and printing, using proper printing presses. on Youtube people show collagraphs being printed pressing by hand, but they work with plates carrying very heavy relief panels weheras this workshop used a more shallow relief. So, the mark making included cutting into the plate, removing the surface of the card plate and adding materials. 

We painted the shellac to seal the plates ready for printing on the second day.

Here are some of the sealed plates, drying:

You can see various materials: sandpaper, textured wall paper, sawdust, nylon lace and so on. My plate in the middle, bottom was a practive plate with these materials to see what prints they would leave. I was interested to learn that you can 'draw' with glue, and any hard pressing of pens mark the surafce of plate that can also bring out the ink. Very interesting and so exciting.

Here are some of the prints drying - some of us also printed onto the fabric, which in most cases also picked up the ink well:

On the left you can see my very first attempt at printing using the sampling plate. I put too little ink on and/or wiped too much of it off. On the right is a pinkish print where I used straws of grass as a relief device and they worked very well.

And here are some examples of some prints I made that look more complete:

It was a very good workshop and we printed a lot of prints. The ink is still drying 3-4 days after printing, which is quite a long drying time, and I am getting a bit impatient for these prints to be ready. Nevertheless when they are ready they will mostly be good prints and once franed they will look complete and finished. I enjoyed the whole experience and will perhaps do some myself one day, as the prints may also be helpful in thinking about design.

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