Rich results from a poor man’s medium…

Recently I have been experimenting with collagraph, a low tech poor man’s print medium. I say this because all you need is some card for the printing plate, or another backing medium such as thin plastic, wood or metal; preferably this should be mount board, because areas of this can be cut into and peeled away and when inked up the cut away area can give wonderful textures, and it can also be slashed – which again will give another dimension.  I can see that the  possibilities of collagraph could be endless as almost anything (within reason) can be added onto the card, taking into account that it still has to go through the printing press. Plastic plates can be melted with a soldering iron and ink will sit in the indentations, and PVA can be added loosely to form organic raised  surfaces. . Everything has to be well stuck down, and plates have to be sealed to stop them coming apart because of the ink, and also cleaning. This can be done with waterproof PVA or with button polish thinned with some methylated spirits.  The plates can also be inked up in different ways – intaglio, i.e. ink applied to the raised surfaces, usually with a roller, or like an etching, with ink pushed into the cut away areas, or both, in different colours. The amount of ink applied can also make a huge difference. You can see this in these three prints from the same mountboard plate. –