I love pretty much every element of printmaking but at the moment the majority of my work is done using collagraph techniques. I love the embossed nature of the print and the nuances of texture I can bring out in the plate when I add colour. Most of the images on this page so far are collagraphs.
For the uninitiated 'collagraph' comes from the word collage. To create a collagraph plate a variety of textured materials are stuck to a flat base. This can be anything from mounting card to very thin aeroplane ply or metal like aluminium. Each substrate has it's own unique characteristics which can be brought to bear within the resulting print. Wood ply, for example prints the wood grain. The materials you create the collage with are commonly found in most homes such as PVA, wall tile cement, tissue paper, textured wallpapers, fine sand (or carborundum), acrylic paint and much much more. These materials can be manipulated to create an infinite number of textures depending on what you use to do so - toothbrushes, card, palette knife and so on.
Once the plate is completed it has to be sealed so that ink does not just sink into the plate. Ink is applied (I do it with a brush), the excess is removed, the plate is put onto a special etching press with a damp sheet of paper laid over the top of it. This is then covered by a blanket (or 3) and wound through the press. Peel back the paper and the image is revealed. There is always an element of serendipity which is all part of the fun and fascination.
Hope you like the prints you see on this page. I will be updating them as and when I have a moment to add new ones on.