Collagraphs & etchings are INTAGLIO prints: the image is created from a plate that holds ink in areas below the plate’s surface.
I create collagraphs by cutting into and sticking material – paper, card, string, fabric, leaves – onto a thin card base. The finished plate is varnished to enable it to withstand inking and cleaning. Oil-based etching ink is applied to the plate, forced into incised lines with balls of scrim. Excess ink is removed from the face of the plate, leaving ink in hollows and marks cut into the base card. Ink can then be rolled onto the raised parts of the plate, incorporating relief printing into the process.
Collagraphs are printed using an etching press: the pressure forces dampened paper into the plate to pick up the ink, creating an embossed mirror-image of the collage plate. The pressure applied by the etching press also flattens raised surfaces on the collage plate, so only a limited number of prints can be produced. My collagraph print runs are varied editions, since the plate is inked differently before each print is made, either with slight variations or different colours.