Monday, 13 August 2012

Trying Out Printmaking: Colographs and Monoprints

I have been meaning to experiment with print-making for years and I never seem to get around to it. But I found I needed to teach some very basic monoprinting and colographs, so decided that the time had come to get stuck in.

When I was up at the Solway Firth recently, I collected lots of interesting things from the tide-line on the beach: seaweed, tangles of fishing wire, seagull feathers, a washed up shoe and other detritus, I've added more bits and bobs from around the house and garden, so I now have a cardboard box full of fun textures to play with.

I had great fun sticking them onto pieces of cardboard with several coats of PVA, creating some experimental colograph plates, to see what works.

While I was waiting for them to dry, I had a go at some monoprinting. I didn't have proper inks, so just used acrylic paint and PVA. We happened to have a set of A4 glass place mats, so they were perfect for rolling out the colour.

Acrylics are not good for colographs though: they are not sticky enough and dry too fast to be practical, filling all the gaps when they do, ruining the plate for future prints. Luckily a friend who runs printmaking workshops was good enough to lend me some water-based printing ink (thanks Pete!), so I have now been able to do my first experimental prints.

It's all a bit ad-hoc and, because I haven't got a press, so can only burnish by hand, the intaglio element is pretty minimal, but I had a lot of fun, got jolly messy and at least now have enough experience to pass on what I have learnt to the kids I'm teaching.

I think this monoprint is the textile-designer in me trying to get back out!


June said...

I really loved this post. I'm sure all the 'hands-on' and experimentation made it very enjoyable. Like going back to art college :)

Lynne the Pencil said...

Yes, it was a bit. Good fun!

Irene said...

This looks fun Lynne,I will give it a go!Thanks for sharing!