Friday, April 1, 2016

Collagraph continued - small study from constructed plate

Here is a small collagraph I recently printed from a plate that I constructed back in 2012. The plate itself was 6 x 6 cm (2.5 inches). It was a simple composition created from application of collected dried plant tops and some other elements including scrap ends of fabric and paper. These were glued onto a small piece of matboard and then sealed under several layers of shellac.

I had made one monochromatic test print from this plate after the shellac coating had dried. Perhaps it was not inked properly but I remember the print off the plate was lacking in something so I put it aside and moved onto other artistic ventures.

Recently I pulled the plate out of storage and decided I would attempt to ink and make a print off of it. I applied oil based etching ink using small dabbers of rolled felt secured with duct tape. (these were about 4 inches in length) I left a little of the felt free of tape on both ends so it could be used to hold and transfer the ink. 
Here I applied a mix of  prussian blue, carbon black and cadmium yellow to create a seafoam green to the lower areas of the plate. I wiped the ink gently using a bundle of soft synthetic interfacing fabric. This was followed by a very light swipe of old telephone directory yellow pages.
For the small circular moon shape I removed ink using a cotton swab.
On the raised surfaces (plant elements) I rolled on a mix of carbon black and forest green ink using a small rubber brayer. Moistened cotton rag paper was set over top of the inked plate. This was passed under the roller of my small table top etching press.

resulting print on rag paper

I was quite happy with the resulting print this time around. 

The next thing I did was clean off the plate and press it into an equal size piece of thin dense styrne (styrofoam). This gave me an opposite image and the raised elements became below surface indentations. I inked the plate with the carbon black/forest green ink and rolled prussian blue and some cadmium red on the surface. Using gentle wiping I blended the two surface inks so that the top area became more of a violet hue.

original collagraph plate (left) and pressed foam plate version (right)

Again I placed dampened rag paper over top and ran it on the press bed under the roller.
Here is the resulting image that was transferred.