Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Printing Workshop last Friday

I actually managed to remember to go to my workshop last Friday, after forgetting to go to the one I should have gone to on the previous Tuesday. I blame a lack of vitamin B12! This second workshop was all about collagraphs. I have had a go at this on my own at home but I found out that I had been doing it the wrong way.....that explains why my print didn't come out - doh! The general idea is to stick various textures to a plate, in this case a piece of corrugated cardboard.

At this stage I am almost embarrassed to post what looks like a load of rubbish thrown on a sheet of cardboard! Anyway, we then "inked" it up, or in this case, used acrylic paint mixed with a tiny , tiny amount of thickening paste to give a similar (cheaper) consistency to printing ink. The secret was to hold the roller loosely and spread the paint in a small area on the printing plate till the roller was evenly covered and then apply the roller to the print block. Again you do not roll merrily all over the block but apply the paint in a small area at a time with a single movement of the roller. If you go backwards and forwards over the block you pick the paint/ink up again and remove it. The thickening paste actually stops the acrylic drying out so quickly so you have plenty of time to work. Once the printing block has sufficient paint/ink on (you have to learn this for yourself) you lay your printing paper over the top of the block - you do not as I thought turn the block over onto your paper!

Unfortunately I realise that I did not take a full sequence of pics so I shall have to take some more and insert them - watch this space!

Once the paper is laid on top you smoothly massage the paper over the contours of the block and you will gradually see the paint/ink taken up by the paper. You don't need to be too aggressive with the rubbing. Peel back the paper and see what you have. A surprise every time! You can print onto a coloured background, an old painting, text, the list is as long as your imagination. You can repeat the print with another colourway and turn the page through 90 degrees or 180 degrees whatever takes your fancy to build up layers. I particularly enjoyed making a block of textures in layers suggestive of landscape and I am quite pleased with the results:
You can also see a couple of monoprints I tried.

These early efforts are obviously very crude but I am quite excited by the possibilities and will get round to practising some more.

In case you are wondering my mum has gone to stay at my brother's today. We have had a really busy time this visit and have done much more together than we usually do, usually we just potter around town here and watch a fair bit of telly - which probably explains why I am worn out - but it has been a good time. I will be seeing mum again next week as I've got to take her photos across to her - currently being printed at Klick.

I'm now looking forward to my next workshop on Friday "Reality into Abstraction" - should be fun!

Don't look now but I've just about caught up - albeit I've left a few things out so as not to bore the pants off everyone. Just one more thing - I saw this banner in a local church at the weekend and thought it might inspire someone:
Sorry blogger won't enlarge it.


Gina said...

Gosh you have been busy Julie. I really like the picture of the last print - lovely texture in that. I'd always wondered what a collograph was - now it's something else for me to try.

Purple Missus said...

There, Gina has taken the words right out of my mouth :) Thanks for all the tips on this tecnique - looks like fun. I do like your results as you say they have possibilities.

Susan D said...

Great textures I'm going to try that technique on some fabric when I get time. Thanks for showing us how to do it.