Earlier this month I went to France to do a week’s course on collagraphy with Val Holmes.  Collagraphy is a form of printing whereby, instead of etching into the plate, you build up the surface, so as to produce both intaglio and relief forms.  Val has just published her book on the subject ‘Collage, Stitch, Print’.

These are the first plates I made.  The ones on the right are thin card glued onto the background card.  The ones on the left are a hand embroidery thread stuck onto double sided tap.  I wanted to continue the theme of trees I had used on the Creative Sketchbook course and also felt the shapes would be simple to start with.

Multiple prints of the card plate on thin Japanese paper, using a roller and a spoon.

Prints on cotton sheeting, again by hand.

We then went on to make the following plates:  The top one uses high density modelling paste – this didn’t give very good results.  The second uses gloss gel medium and worked well.

The next uses polyfilla and the fourth one light modelling paste  Both these worked well.  Polyfilla and any bare card were protected with acrylic gloss varnish, Modelling paste and gel medium don’t need it.

Some prints made from these plates, using an etching press:

The above print uses the Chine Colle method – a sheet of thin khadi paper is placed glue side up on the plate so it adheres to the print as it goes through them press.

Here I only added a little black ink to the colour left on the plate.  My favourite print from this series.

The above print came out very pale in the top half and was deemed a reject, but the last day was spent adding stitch to ‘failures’ and four lines of machine stitching totally change it.

The above two prints were made from a plate painted with gloss gel medium into which I pressed a skeleton leaf while it was wet, pressed it down and then removed it.  For the second print I used a stiff brush to push the paint into the background.

This print was made from a plate where pieces of lace and paper, that I had stitched without using thread and then torn, were stitched onto card. Ink was applied and wiped off with tarlatan, particularly from the paper.

The above print was produced with a heavy duty  flower press from a plate made using polyfilla laid on quite thickly. The following print is from the same plate but using the press. It has begun to degrade slightly after several printings.

Another ‘failure’ that I improved through the use of hand stitching.

The next print is from a plate made by stitching into metal (a drinks can) amd put through the press.

Here I used a sponge roller and acryllic paint to roll over a leaf form on to cotton sheeting.  I then machine stitched with yellow thread and finally printed from a plate made by stitching onto thick plastic sheet, using the press.  Ihink it needs a little more work, but am not yet sure what.


This is just some of the work I produced.  It was a brilliant week and I can’t wait to experiment further.
















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