Skip to main content

On another collagraph method

Here is another method of making a collagraph with the inexpensive aluminum flashing tiles I talked about in a previous post. It's very simple and effective. The little movie included in this post illustrates it step by step, but here's a summary:
  1. Draw directly on the plate (aluminum flashing tile) with Elmer's glue, or a brush dipped in the glue.
  2. Shake carborundum grit over the wet glue.
  3. Tip the plate up to shake off excess grit.
  4. When the plate is dry, seal it with a layer of acrylic gloss medium (I realised after I made the movie that I missed out this step!).
You can then ink and print the plate in the regular way:
  1. Use a brush or piece of card to drag ink across the plate. The carborundum grit holds the ink very well.
  2. Wipe away the excess ink using a piece of tarlatan.
  3. Place damp printmaking paper over the plate, then run it through the press.
For the slideshow, I inked the plate "a la poupee", which means to use different colours of ink on the same plate. The phrase has a beautiful origin. It literally means "like a child's doll", and refers to the way nineteenth century doll-makers applied colour to the surface of their life-like china dolls.

If you're thinking of signing up for the Interlochen printmaking classes in the summer, this is one of the techniques that we may cover (if there's time!).

Summer classes at Interlochen
On how to make extremely inexpensive drypoints & collagraphs

 Subscribe to Praeterita in a reader


Popular posts from this blog

On my 300th blog post


It's my 300th blog post. And I seem to remember that in my 200th blog post I said that I would start quoting from John Ruskin's "Praeterita", after which this blog was named. Well, better late then never, so quotation number 2 is below.

First, though, some thoughts on this blog and blogging in general. I started Praeterita at the end of last year after reading a book by an art-marketing guru called Alyson Stansfield that recommended it as a means for artists to publicise their work better. But from the start I thought it would be more interesting to talk in a discursive way about my wider interest in art, and artists, and the history of art. After a desultory beginning where I only posted once a week, my blogging habit has now grown to the point where I am posting sometimes twice a day, and more than 45 times per month (helped enormously by the Blogger feature that lets you save blog posts with a post-dated timestamp, so that you can put posts in the bank to …

Brancusi in Plastic

Artist Mary Ellen Croteau is showing these columns made from recycled plastic cartons and lids in the window of the Columbia College bookstore on Michigan Avenue. They are a playful homage to Brancusi's "Endless Columns", with a serious environmental message for our times:

Mary Ellen also runs a wonderful experimental art gallery in a window space in west Chicago, called Art on Armitage. I will be exhibiting a mixed media piece there during August 2012.

How to etch a linoleum block

Linoleum as a material for printmaking has been used for nearly a hundred years now. Normally, you cut an image out using special gouges similar to woodcut tools, cutting away the lino around the image you want to print. This is called relief printmaking, because if you look at the block from the side, the material that remains stands up in relief from the backing material. You then roll ink with a brayer over the surface of the block, place paper over it, and either print by hand or run it through a press. You can do complex things this way (for example, reduction linocuts), but the beauty of the process is that it is quick, simple, and direct.

A few years ago, I saw some prints that were classified as coming from etched linoleum blocks, and I loved the textures I saw in them. In the last few months, I've been trying to use this technique in my own studio, learning about it as one does these days from websites and YouTube videos. I've also had email exchanges with several pr…