Saturday, October 12, 2013

Collagraphs - part 2

Thursday saw me back at Primrose Park for the second day of the Collagraph workshop run by Primrose PaperArts.  In a previous post I had blogged about how we were guided by Chris Hutch to create our collagraph plates.  On Thursday we got the chance to try intaglio printing with them.
Chris, in the interim, had shellacked our plates expertly. (I found the full benefit of this later as I rubbed my plates excessively to in the inking up stage and not one bit of the "texture creating debris" I had stuck on the plate came off, wonderful).

My plates sealed with layers of shellac
In the beginning we had a go at embossing paper with one of our small plates without ink. I forgot to photograph my sample, probably because it didn't exactly appeal to me - the relief on my plate was probably too low and indistinct.  Chris demonstrated with a plate featuring a bolder motif from an old lace tablecloth and the resulting embossing was clearer.

On to the inking, firstly choosing only black on one of our small plates. My first effort was too dark having left too much ink on the plate; the second too pale due I suspect to the paper drying out too quickly (it was that 37 degree day if you remember in Sydney).  But gradually I got the idea vaguely and some useful prints were produced.
Despite the heat we were all enthused and very busy.
Jan inking her plate

Lydia providing inking tips

Kate excercising her muscles at the wheel

My most successful prints were done using a black or indigo ink as intaglio colour, then a second sable or ochre rolling onto the high relief areas of the plate before printing.

Even after all this messing about the plates themselves were great in their own right-

I had a great time and found that it's definitely a technique I would try again in the future. Thanks again, Chris. I could just see myself stitching into these prints.
 However I also discovered the mess that is ink and now understand the angst my purist printmaker daughter goes through in keeping her work ultra clean and accurately registered.  I don't know think I'll be following her to that extreme, my nerves couldn't take it!