Saturday, 5 March 2011

Project 2 Sampling - Collagraph, Print, Mixed Media.

Collagraph is a technique that involves the relief printing process, I cut up a piece of Daler Mount Board than stuck loads of different materials to the board including sandpaper, create paper, sand, sugar, pva glue, salt, rice, cardboard. I also bought a cheap battery operated engraver for a couple of quid from The Works and engraved onto the plate. Once I was happy with the plate I sealed the plate with Sadolin Floor Varnish which was a bugger to find, this is an oil based varnish which dries in a couple of hours. I did try other varnishes in fact the whole class tried different ones but they were taking weeks to dry and once you put the plate through the printing press the varnish was coming out on the paper. Once the varnish was dry I tried oil based and also waterbased ink, the waterbased ink I preferred I bought these myself and they weren’t provide by college.

Once you have put the ink on the plate with Dollies then using leafs from the Yellow Pages excess paint were removed with a turning motion with the palm of the hand. Watercolour paper (300gsm) was soaked for a couple of minutes. The paper was then blotted with blotting paper & a rolling pin, this removed access water making the paper just damp. The paper was carefully placed on top of the plate; blankets were re-laid then the paper & plate were rolled through the
etching press with newsprint and newspaper to protect then blankets.

 The below samples are Ghost samples they are the second print from the plate as I didn’t remove enough ink, these are both done with waterbased inks. Oil based inks require an extender mixing in with the ink, they also take longer to dry and have a different feeling they also clean up a lot easier, the waterbased ink look more like watercolour paint once printing. If you don't have a printing press you can make one from an
old washing mangle or drive over the plate and paper with the front wheel of a car, make sure you place some wood above and below your plate and paper, you can also use foam or a camping/yoga matt as blankets.

Please click the image a couple of times for a lager image…

Below are two prints of the plate in 2 different waterbased inks, I prefer the black one out of the two, these are both Ghost prints as there were too much ink on the first print.

Over all I’m very satisfied with the Collagraph plate as well as the print. The hardest thing about the plate was putting the layers down, the fatter the item was meant the further back in the distance it will look when printed. This is the first time I have made a Collagraph plate and I’ve enjoyed it immensely. The texture on the print added to the final image the items weren’t just used for the sake of it, I enjoyed finding out in the foundation stages how certain materials would print, this really surprised me on some materials. The sampling was crucial as it led towards the decision of which materials were appropriate to use in this landscape. I was frustrated with some of the materials that I used on the sample plates; I expected more of an indent in the printed version. This was defiantly a huge learning curve but it was required to understand which materials were more appropriate to use to produce certain effects on the print.

A couple of things I would like to change on the plate, the moon seems slightly too big for the scene I would like to reduce the size, this could be altered quite easily. I would also like to try using two or more colours on the plate and experiment if water based ink and oil based ink work together in the same piece of work. I don’t mean mix them together but print with oil let it dry then print water based ink on top in certain places like the sky or moon. Don’t get me wrong I like the look of the water based inks and I’m glad I used these instead of sticking to the oil based inks which everybody else used. I wanted to experiment and try something different to produce a different look, by using different inks I have managed to do this. Over all I think the print of the final plate came out exceptional for my first Collagraph Print and hopefully I will be using this process again.

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