Module 5: Collagraph

March 2018:  The plate and the first print of my collagraph series The Tree That Wanted to Fly.

February 2018:  Further with collagraphs

I had a disastrous session at the Walthamstow open access studio, the press is impossible, the whole place is a mess and has no health and safety awareness, there was rubbish everywhere…. I left without printing anything and I won’t be going there any more and am booking two sessions later on at London Print Studio and East London Printmakers both have a professional attitude to people coming to print.

This month I am doing a 3 day workshop in collagraphs at ELP to learn how to print in colour.  Before this I am creating some samples of plates using various media:


Brushed on gesso


Tin foil on pva


Tissue on pva


watercolour paper on pva

February 2018:  Collagraphs

I am working again on this method and the results can be seen in my Work in Progress page.  These are the three collagraphs I have made for the project The Tree That Wanted to Fly.


Test card, not printed yet

The card above includes : from the let newspaper, tesso and string, tissue, tin foil, hand made paper, rough printing paper, card, two other types of hand made paper with rough surfaces.  This is ready to print this week, all it needs is two coats of shellac


Carborundum used for the sky and gesso in the base, with handmade paper, tissue, tin goil


The tree’s roots, waiting to be varnished ready for printing

October 2017:  I haven’t done any serious collographs yet as I did not have anyway of printing them.  Now that I have access to a print studio I will start working on this wonderful method of printmaking.

March 2017:  Everything I do at this stage of my printmaking seems to be experimental! which is a nice way of saying it’s hit and miss largely!  I need to plan a print from beginning to end.  I went to Intaglio yesterday and bought feathers, green ink, some lovely Zerkall paper and a new baren.

23 March:  Glue Prints

I have just made a quick glue print using pva squeezed onto daler board with acrylic gel medium brushed on for dark areas.  I will let it dry overnight and in the morning seal the plate with two coats of shellac (golden).  the glue definitely provides a surface, almost a painterly type of surface, but it prints light.


11th March 2017: My collagraph plate (see below) dried overnight, however pva is not strong and you really need to finally coat a collograph with 2 coats of shellac

I tried to print using rolled up scourer to apply the ink in the same way that ink is applied when printing etchings – using a thick plastic square to apply the oil based ink, but that produced a very faint print, albeit the paper was too thick for this type of printing, a kind of Fabriano 120 gsm, anyway too thick.

So I changed tack and used a thin hand made paper which you can buy on huge rolls in Falkiners – and not expensive, it has a nice biscuit colour and is smooth on one side and rough the other I will put a sample in my sketchbook for reference.

This paper produced a nice ghostly print but this time I rolled on the ink rather than apply it and used a baren and hand pressure for printing.

Prussian blue and a little yellow

10th March 2017:  I took a photograph of our balcony with its grasses, pots and large stones and made a preliminary sketch on the grey board backing.  I used various media for the image:

  • leaves and dried grass
  • different papers
  • tin foil
  • masking tape
  • cutting into the board
  • indian rough paper

I used lots of pva glue to attach the items and coated the whole plate with pva. I will now leave it to dry overnight and print it tomorrow