Saturday, June 25, 2011

Collagraph Kiss

 A Kiss is Still a Kiss
8" x 10" on unryu

I've been building a collagraph plate over the last week or so, off and on and thought it was about time I took it for  test run today.  A collagraph is a printing plate, producing a relief print, but built up of pieces of low relief objects or paper/card that become the print surface instead of carving into a block, as with lino.

While cleaning out the studio last week, I found a few old Purity Kisses candies and tossed the candy but kept the wrappers more or less the same shape as when they had candy in them.  I glued them to a piece of backing board along with some yarn linking the wrappers and coated the glued areas with sand for texture.  Once the glue dried, I gave the whole plate several coats of varnish..  I used Liquitex gloss medium and varnish.  It provides a water proof surface on which to ink the plate.

I used a brush and Caligo water soluble inks to cover  the plate and then wiped off most of the ink.  I experiemented with several papers for these first prints.  BK Rives was used for the first 4 and I soaked it and think used it a little too damp as it bled on the edges and the definition wasn't as crisp as I wanted.  I added some washes of watercolour to one of the initial prints just to see how it would look and hold up to the extra water.  It passed well on those counts.

Additional prints were made using sekishu, chiri and a piece of unryu paper that had flecks of metallic gold in it.  I liked the unryu and sekishu papers best for this printmaking.   With a light spray to dampen them enough for the fibres to relax, they seemed to pick up just the right amount of ink from the plate. 

I used my hands to press the dampened paper into the cracks and crevices of the paper but still didn't get the results I wanted, so I reverted to the 'foot press'.  This involves sandwiching the plate and print paper between layers of paper towel and felt  and literally walk over all over it to mimic a printing press.  And it works beautifully.  Just don't let anyone watch you do it or they'll ask lots of strange questions...


Niall young said...

Beautiful....I've never had a kiss that didn't mean a million things...and your gorgeous print means a million

Margaret Ryall said...

love this technique. I find you can get such interesting textural effects so easily. It's exciting to build up the plate and then see what happen when you print it in various ways. Great effects with what you've done.

Gary L. Everest Paintings said...

Hi Jeanette,
May I say, but don't let fetishism get in the way...
Your feet are the most beautiful I've seen today.
How's that for a different comment!
Oh...and the print's pretty nice, too.

Jeanette said...

Thanks Niall, kisses work in many forms.

Margaret, I haven't used collagraphs for more years than I can remember so this was fun. I have another couple up my sleeve that I'll be working on. They do produce interesting results.

Gary, great that I can satisfy someone's fetish today! :) Though somehow I never thought my old feet would do it.

Actually feet and hands make the most interesting drawings - and the most complex. Careful, you're sending me off on another tangent.

vivien said...


nice one

I haven't done a collagraph in a long time. The way I do them is as an intaglio print so they need a printing press, which I haven't got and involves expensive membership/user fees for our local print workshop :>(

Trade Your Talent said...

wow, this looks very special!

Jeanette said...

They are fun to do Vivien. A printing press is an expensive option and similar fees apply here at the local print workshop too, so I resort to other methods. :)

Thanks Trade.