A Collagraph Revisited

IMG_3839This is a collagraph that I had made for my printing class.  There were some things I could have done better and which I eventually did when I made another, smaller one.  The prints I made with it at home didn’t turn out very well as I tried to print it by hand.  When I took it to class and ran it through the press, we got these.

Surprisingly, there was still a fair amount of ink left on the plate.  The ink above is water based Ocaldo relief ink.  After playing with the Xcut and my new version of this collagraph, I thought I would have another go with this again.

I used damp paper on a higher setting than I previously used.  You can see the result in the upper left, which is the first print I pulled.  I mainly printed with dry paper and got better results and then as the more I printed, the more the color from the very first print run started to show through.  I used damp paper to pick up the last print on the bottom.  Here is what my plate looks like now.


The string is a little bit more flattened out as it has been through the press a few times.  The first time I used this plate, the ink was rolled out onto the collagraph.  This time I used a bristle stencil brush to push the ink into the spaces.  Since making this, I have learned that when using relief ink on a collagraph, it is better to use dry paper.  I have been doing both and it might be a good idea to start with dry paper so it doesn’t pick up too much ink and then use damp paper towards the end.  For me, it is all about experimenting at the moment until I can work out the best way forward.  The thing about collagraphs like these, you are never going to get a print to work out all the same as the collagraph changes each time it goes through the press, along with how the ink is applied.  Therefore, this will end up being a varied edition.  Once all of the prints have dried, I will have a chance to embellish them if I want to.  I may even print some off in dark colors only.  The possibilities are endless!

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