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Collagraphs

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I quite often think I’ve not done much work because I don’t have the space in my small studio at home to display it all together. This week I was given a temporary space at the university by one of the MA full timers who isn’t using it – so I’ve taken full advantage and started hanging my walking ‘prints-on-the-go’ and putting out my collagraph prints – I’m surprised by how much work there is in just a week – nothing is finished of course! I now want to spend some time thinking about how it is working and what I’m trying to communicate through my practice – this was highlighted in my tutorial last week. Being able to ‘live’ with a body of work makes such a difference!

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There are days when I just shouldn’t attempt to do any art work – this was supposed to be an embossed print from a collograph plate – it ended up like this! I’d stupidly used a different varnish on the plate instead of the usual button varnish and the paper just stuck completely to the plate. I will print out the photograph and add it to my book of failures which I started on the degree course a few years ago

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The day was saved with a brilliant talk by Charles Shearer at lunch time

I have been making collagraphs from materials collected on my coastal walks – seaweed gives marvellous abstract marks when pressed into the plaster base – these are a couple of the latest printed to the torn edges of the paper (Fabriano Rosapina) . The first one was only partially inked and I’ve made a sequence of these ending up with a print from a completely inked plate (the second image)

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Coastal walk – partially inked plate with embossing

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Coastal walk – collagraph sequence

I feel that this image captures the rhythm of the walk especially when 6 are displayed horizontally as a sequence.

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Coastal walk – collagraph

In the third image, above, the print is made from 2 plates – one using some sand (printed first) and the other using a large seaweed strand – I am now experimenting with introducing some minimal colour. I have also experimented printing on dry paper but this has lost the rich texture of the image. The collagraphs are 62 x 22 cms. Some of the less successful prints will be torn into smaller prints, like the ones in my last post,  and be displayed as ‘path fragments’. It has become rather obsessive!

It first came up in the group crit a few weeks ago – printing to the edges of the paper – now I can’t imagine any other way – it is so much easier – so I started ripping the paper to give it that lovely deckelled edge that sheets of uncut paper have – only it is never quite the same of course!

Today I decided to tear one of my smaller collagraph prints into 4 –  I used this one

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Heather collagraph 20cms square

the 5cms square pieces below seem to relate to the small etching plates of the same size – you can see these in this post HERE  – I like the intimacy of these tiny prints and that you have to go up close to look at them.

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I have also gone to the other extreme and made the largest collagraph plate that fits on the press – 116 x 84 cms – every stage of the process presented a new challenge – from soaking the paper to where to store the prints – at this point they are still in the print room at university and then they will have to live under the bed unless I decide to also tear thsse into smaller prints. I also found it quite exhausting to print such large images! I’m not very pleased with the results, they are disappointing, and I will have to think about whether to work on the plate further. I will take a photograph of it as soon as I can find a place to display it . I only have another few days to finish my print work before the end of term next week – then the print room is closed for the Easter break for 3 weeks – assessment is a week later!

 

 

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