Today I wanted to talk about collagraph prints. Collagraph prints are made by gluing material on to a hard surface. This surface can be anything from a wood board to a simple piece of matboard. You can use a wide range of materials for gluing on to your board. You can use string, lace, burlap, and you can even make a pattern with the glue itself.
Because of the simple materials, this is one of the most accessible forms of Printmaking. The block itself can be made easily, and you have many options for how to print it. You will get the most consistent prints with a printing press, but you can also get prints with a baren or the back of a spoon.
You even have many options in the way you apply the ink. for a relief print, you can paint or roll ink on to the raised surface you have created with your materials. Another option is to paint the entire block and then scrape the ink off of the raised areas. This creates an intaglio print. You can also use a combination of these two strategies to get a truly unique effect.
If you do have access to a press, you can also experimenter with embossing. This is where you run the block through without ink, leaving an imprint of your block in the paper. This can create a very beautiful and subtle image.
Collagraphy is a really fun form of printmaking to experiment with. Putting the block together is an enjoyable experience and you are left with many options for how to create your final print. Having a press makes it easier, but this form of printing is relatively easy to do at home. definitely one to try out!