Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Adult Workshop in Relief block print and Collagraph Thunder Bay Art Gallery

Last week I delivered a two part workshop in two printmaking techniques to ten participants. Relief block and collagraph were the focus. This was also a non-toxic workshop since all the materials we used didn't pose any health or enviromental concerns. This took place in the community activities room at our local art Gallery.
For the relief block component participants carved their designs into pieces of Eco-Karve made by Inovart.
The prints had Caligo Safe wash relief printing inks rolled onto their surfaces with soft rubber brayers. Each person had a simple registration system of a three hole punch press attached with duct tape to a base sheet of recycled core-plast sign material. Blocks were held in place with wood popsicle sticks taped onto the board using masking tape. Prints were made onto thin but strong Masa paper. The punch also acted as a pin system to hold the paper in place for additional blocks that could printed first and then the key block printed over top in alignment.

participants removing eco-karve material
with linocut tools to create relief surfaces

participant using rubbing tool burnishing the backside of Masa paper
that is set over top of an inked block . The boards I provided used
a makeshift 3 hole punch registration system to hold the paper in place.
The artists if they wanted had the opportunity to create multi-coloured
prints from registering several blocks and paper on the board .

single colour proof print made on newsprint

a Matisse inspired design

 a colour design on paper translated to block surface then to a two colour print

 prints set aside to dry along the wall

recycled cardboard trays for taking home wet prints

one participant was clever and masked off the central blossom area
in one of her prints with foil to print. She rolled on the first colour (green),
washed off her block and then carefully spot inked the blossom in red
and black. This gave her a three colour print off the one block surface.

The second technique explored was Collagraph. Participants were given a smorgasbord of materials to use to construct plates that included paper scraps, string, dried plant material, stuff from recycle bins, glues, acrylic gel mediums, modeling paste, water filter particulate, etc...
There wasn't enough time to seal the plates properly with shellac or acrylic medium so I sprayed them with an adhesive and put plastic food wrap over top. These were run through the press (with blankets over top) to both level the plate and mold the wrap over the collage elements.
Akua Intaglio inks were wiped, painted or rolled onto the plates and then after a bit of selective wiping dampened heavier rag paper was put over top. This was again passed under the top roller of the press and some very colourful collagraphs were made.

the instructor (yours truly) performing the task of leveling plates
seal with plastic food wrap while participants carve their relief blocks

 press printing station setup with small press, table in foreground
 was used as an area to adhere prints to boards with butcher tape
 example of a two colour collagraph created by participant using collage technique
and marks made into the mat board based plate

another student work from a plate that used a variety of materials

Participant with her colourful collagraph print on paper

prints were secured onto thin pieces of hardboard
with adhesive butchers tape to dry
this particular print had a dried maple leaf glued
in the center of the plate which picked up in print