Saturday, 22 November 2014

HBP - Complete Printmakers: Collagraph

The third print process that we learnt on the course was collagraph; a process where the plate is made out of mountboard. You can either cut into the board or add raised textures to it (or you can do both) and once the design is complete you apply a few thin layers of varnish to make it more durable. 

At this point in the course I didn't have a subject or theme to focus on so I was still relying on my collection of travel photos for source material. The image that I chose was of a block flats in Berlin; in front of them (the white space at the side of the print) was quite a grand building/structure with Roman style columns and statues. 

The process of making the plate was tough on my fingers - I was cutting into the board with a craft knife and it took about 3-4 hours in total. To achieve the thicker lines and blocky shapes I had to carefully slice around the shape and gently scrape away layers of the card fibres within. I was a little bit impatient with the varnishing and applied a bit too much on my final coat so had to blot it through the press - the results of this are pictured below the prints. I wasn't really impressed with my final prints; the inking process was the same one used for drypoint and I struggled with the texture of this plate. The varnish didn't have the same smooth finish as the metal plates so wiping the ink back was a lot harder. I think the subject matter didn't really lend itself to this process either so if I were to do it again I'd definitely choose a different image.

Collagraph plate (I prefer the actual plate to the prints)

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