Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Collagraph Underway

This morning I began working on a collagraph plate for the next print in my laced series. For those of you who are not familiar with collagraphs, they are prints created from plates that have been built up using collage materials. They can have very rich surface textures and the finished prints display an embossed quality. Papers with a lot of surface texture, like sandpaper, print dark and smoother papers and surfaces print light. Of course you can achieve all sorts of in between values by varying surface textures and adhesives. I like to use gesso, modeling past, and acrylic mediums to adhere my elements to the plate and as a means to modify values. I seal the plate before printing with a thin coat of acrylic gloss medium. In this instance, I'm using 4 ply matte board as my base. Any sturdy surface will do but for larger prints I use Masonite as a plate base.

I love the tactile quality of building the plate and the unpredictability of the outcome. The often unexpected results you can achieve when printing can be a welcome surprise. As you can see, it gets pretty messy when you get down to business
and I end up with my tools covered in gesso. This is where I really appreciate my granite work surface; I know I'll be able to scrape off the adhesives when I'm done.

This is what I have so far. I'm going to give this a chance to dry before I continue. With collagraphs, it's vital that you really, really glue things down well so the plate holds up during the printing process.

Collagraphs can be printed without ink (as embossings), just surfaced rolled and printed as a relief, inked and wiped as an intaglio plate or a combination of intaglio inking with a surface roll over the higher areas. Lots of options provide a wide range of creative exploration.

1 comment:

  1. I love making collagraphs Melody. I'm looking forwrd to seeing the final printed result of this one.