Because it is so hot, I decided the first tutorial using a collographic plate will be using the Shiva or Markel Paint Stik, a wonderful oil paint in a stick. For this technique, I won't have any clean-up to worry about, since I won't be spreading any paint on the plate. In fact, if I had been thinking clearly, I could have done this technique inside.
Supplies (from left):
Paint Stiks (various colors-Rose used in this tutorial)
Cotton fabric, hand washed and dried
Low tack masking tape
Collographic plate, handmade
1. Using a low tack tape, affix the fabric to a surface. For this project, I taped it directly to the metal table.
2. Grab an Artist's Paint Stik. These are made by Markel and came from the internet. They are exactly the same as Shiva brand, but sold under the Markel brand name, which is better known in Europe than America.
To make them "usable," you must remove the skin that covers the exterior of the oil stick. There are several ways you can remove the skin, one of which is to peel the skin back using an exacto knife. Those who know me, realize this is more dangerous than walking across a 12 lane Los Angeles freeway. So that option will always be my last. Instead, I will be using a paper towel and rubbing away at the oil stick.
Maybe I should have used the exacto knife after all, because I made a terrible mess getting the skin off. It looks SO SIMPLE when you see it being shown on TV, but in reality it is quite difficult. And the mess I made took up way longer than I thought it would and wasted way more oil stick than I anticipated. But now I was ready to go, at least.
3. Insert the collographic plate under your fabric. Check that the fabric is still tacked in place.
4. Run the oil stick over the fabric in one direction, picking up the places where the keys are. This is like making a gravestone rubbing without the gravestone. In fact, you may have done this same technique as a child using crayons.
5. Continue until you have covered the complete area.
6. Hang the fabric by the tape or on your design wall, or lay it flat where it won't be disturbed for three to five days. The longer you allow this paint to dry, the more vivid it will be.
7. After three to five days, heat set the paint into the fabric using your iron and a pressing sheet.
I used way too much oil stick in the beginning, and you can see it's a bit of a mess on the left side where I began. Hopefully, I'll be able to either make it work or remove that part of the fabric.
I got better toward the end, even though I used more oil paint than I should have. It was a fun experiment and I loved using the collographic plate because there was no clean-up involved.
I suggest using dark or metallic Paint Stiks when working with light fabric and light Paint Stiks when working with dark fabric.
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