Adventures with Collograph Printmaking

Thanksgiving is over, I’m full of turkey and all the other goodies that I probably shouldn’t have eaten (but it was soooo good)! Now it’s time to get back into the studio and work a bit.

Collograph is something that I’ve been experimenting with for awhile now, but not with much success. This is the year of the collograph for me! I already posted about “buttons”, a much larger collograph that I am working on. While I’m waiting for supplies to work on that one I made a much smaller piece to experiment with.

The paper and thread is glued to a piece of matboard and then coated many times with a high gloss acrylic.

I swear that this must be the messiest form of printmaking there is. I used my gloved finger to push the ink into all the crevices and get every surface of the plate covered.


It seems that I have a “helper” today. He’s have a great time running through boxs and playing with paper.
cat in studio
Once I’m satisfied that everything has ink on it I used phone book pages to wipe away the ink on the raised areas. I’m not sure why this paper works so well to wipe the plate, it just does.

Now it’s time to print. Earlier I cut some printmaking paper to size and soaked them in water to make the paper pliable. I then put the paper between blotter paper to keep the paper damp while I worked with the plate. The paper is placed over the plate and run through the press using a very high pressure.


This is what the image looks like. The damp paper picked up the ink that didn’t get wiped away from the plate.


I made 9 samples of this using different pressures and thicknesses of ink. I think a little bit of thinning of the ink works the best, but it can’t be too thin or the ink will be picked up when I wipe the plate. The textures that come from the materials glued to the plate, the brush marks from the gloss acrylic sealer, and the way that the plate is wiped all make each image unique.


I had quite a few failures and some success toward the end of all this. It was a good experiment.

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