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Planet of the crossing - How it was made

Planet of the crossing - How it was made


Collograph techniques

The plate for printing may be card, wood, metal, anything flat. A surface that you can cut into, is best as this can form part of the image making process. You produce your image by adding card shapes, collage items, cut paper, string, hair, feathers, crumpled foil, textured material, leather, lace and more.

You can cut, stamp, emboss, striate and use any glue or adhesive that solidifies to make shapes and textures. When you have completed your low relief it is good to coat the surface with a varnish to make it impervious to water and non porous. This means that the ink, and oil based ink is the best, can be cleaned off and the plate used again.

To print your plate it has to be put under high pressure like an etching, so an etching press is the very best. Otherwise you can use rubber rollers as long as the paper does not move. You can also rub with the back of a spoon or a tobacco tin, again it must be kept very still. These methods of printing can work if the plate is low relief and detailed. You will have to experiment in order to perfect the finish.

A wood cut is usually printed on a press that applies vertical pressure by the pull of a handle. The printing block, usually made of boxwood, is said to 'kiss' the surface by touching the ink from above with just the right amount of pressure not to cause a distortion in the paper. Just enough to put the delicate image on the surface, quite a skill.

The collograph shown here was made from cut card coated with mat acrylic varnish. Some collage has been added including some glass-paper as this holds the ink like and etched aqua-tint. Because the design is so thin, I glued the work on to another piece of card, and re-cut it to make it stronger and to raise the shapes clear of the background.

The image shown here was printed so exactly and cleanly that many printmakers thought that it could not have been put through a press.  Craftsmanship prevails so pay no heed to such suspicion of a perfect finish as the mark of the hand is demonstrated in the cutting.


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