Dodo Collagraph!

9 Aug

I had a really fun day off on Wednesday printing these dodo collagraphs and although some of them are a bit fluffy I am really pleased with my productive day! Thanks to Gini Hanbury, Printmaking Tutor at Wensum Lodge Norwich, I am going to be teaching monoprint, lino cut and collagraph from the end of October so I thought I should practice the techniques myself so that I would be able to show the learners some first hand examples.

Collagraph printing is a really tactile method of printmaking where you basically use a thick piece of card or plastic and collage different textures and shapes to the surface to create an image.  You then need to protect the collage so that it can be inked up by painting a layer of shellac over the surface.  Shellac is perfect for this as it drys very thinly on the surface and helps  your collage to withstand being inked up and cleaned several times.  The best ink to use with collagraph is soya or oil based inks, this is because the ink stays wet for longer and will sink into each texture giving a more defined print.  However, the key with collagraph is how much ink you remove again after inking up.  You will see below that some of the dodos are a lot stronger than others, but I prefer the paler prints as they show the texture of the material much clearer.  When I did the paler prints I only added more ink to the face, feet and wings as there was still enough ink on the body to get a print.  What I love about this method is that even though it is printmaking, every image comes out differently.  It’s a more unpredictable method with loads of different possibilities.  It is also satisfying that each image is embossed as well as printed , this is because you need to soak and blot the paper and then by using an etching press the paper will get pushed into all the textures and pick out every detail.

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