Available on Etsy.
The reference photo for this collagraph was taken many years ago, while sailing for a week along the Intracoastal Waterway on the east coast, on board the 31' Cape Dory cutter 'Heiress'.
Process shots begin at the bottom of this post.
Pulling the first print - an artist proof. After this proof was dry, I added watercolor, which lead me back to the plate to do a little more cutting & a bit more carborundum. This will be a fun to print, as I'll get to experiment with color on each piece in the edition (15).
After a trip under the press, with soaked and blotted paper on top of the plate, you can see the results of the pressure; the paper is embossed with the shape of the voids I cut & peeled out of the mat board.
After adding goss medium to the pencil marked channels, and pouring carborundum on them, I let everything dry, removed any excess grit, and coated the whole plate front & back with one more layer of Gloss Medium Varnish. In this shot, I've inked the plate using the a la poupee method - rolled and taped felt, or "dollies" - dipped into ink, and them rubbed on the plate in areas where you'd like that particular color. This is a great way to do a multiple color print from one plate, with one pass through the press, and the effects are often quite painterly.
I planned to use carborundum on this plate, after the fun experiments on the Sinking In collagraph earlier this week, so I've scribbled pencil in specific furrows to map where I want to add gloss medium to adhere the grit, which will give me some rich dark areas when they're inked.
This is another simple crescent mat board collagraph plate, sealed with a few layers of Liquitex Gloss Medium Varnish. I'm peeling the top layer off the back of the mat board to make geometric moats where the ink can loiter. The gloss medium makes peeling easier because it gives the top layer of mat board a plastic texture that doesn't rip unless it's been cut with an exacto knife.
The early stages of any craft are more interesting when we are familiar with the final result. For this reason it is often an advantage to beginat the end.
To see a few impressions taken from a set of blocks in colour printing, or to print them oneself, gives the best possible idea of the quality and essential character of print-making. So also in describing the work it will perhaps tend to make the various stages clearer if the final act of printing is first explained. The most striking characteristic of this craft is the primitive simplicity of the act of printing. No press is required, and no machinery.
A block is laid flat on the table with its cut surface uppermost, and is kept steady by a small wad of damp paper placed under each corner. A pile of paper slightly damped ready for printing lies within reach just beyond the wood-block, so that the printer may easily lift the paper sheet by sheet on to the block as it is required.
It is the practice in Japan to work squatting on the floor, with the blocks and tools also on the floor in front of the craftsman. Our own habit of working at a table is less simple, but has some advantages. One practice or habit of the Japanese is, however, to be followed with particular care. No description can give quite fully the sense of extreme orderliness and careful deliberation of their work. Everything is placed where it will be most convenient for use, and this orderliness is preserved throughout the day's work. Their shapely tools and vessels are handled with a deftness that shames our clumsy ways, and everything that they use is kept quite clean. This skilful orderliness is essential to fine craftmanship, and is a sign of mastery. ~Wood-Block Printing by F. Morley Fletcher 1916