“Buttons” – The Experiment Continues

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I finally got the printmaking paper that I ordered. The company I ordered from (who shall remain nameless) send some shipments with something called Smart Post. It took 1-1/2 weeks to get it, and it wasn’t because of the holidays. the box sat in a trailer somewhere in Wisconsin for a week!


Soaking the printmaking paper in water to soften.

Anyway, now that I have my paper I can continue with my project. I cut the paper to size and soaked a piece in a tub of water to soften. I had a little helper that wasn’t much of a help.

The next step is application of the ink. I tried using a brush, and a piece of cloth, and then my gloved finger to apply the ink deep into the cracks and crevices. My finger seemed to work the best. You can really see the textures well in the picture when everything is inked.


Applying the ink to the plate with my finger

This is such a messy process! After the whole plate is inked I used old phone book pages (I read this in another printmakers blog) to wipe off the ink. This is somewhat tricky. It took quite a few pages to remove the top layer of ink leaving the ink in all of the lower areas. I think it worked best when I kind of buffed the top layer with the paper and a flat hand.


The plate is inked and wiped leaving ink in the cracks and crevices.

This is the wiped plate. It’s hard to tell at this point what the impression will look like.


Collagraph printed.


Detail of print

At this point I took the paper out of the bath put it between some blotting paper until it was only damp, then I placed it on top of the plate and ran the image through the press set at a high pressure. The pressure needs to be high in order to force the dampened paper into the deeper parts of the plate and pick up the ink.


Detail of print.

I like the way the button jar and wallpaper background turned out, but not really thrilled with the crow. He seemed to disappear. I will try to add more to this image to bring out the crow more. I’m open to suggestions! This has certainly been a learning process.

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