Sunday, November 17, 2013

The collographic plate results

I want to begin by apologizing to Dawn at Girl Unwinding because I didn't participate in Mandala Monday this week.  Please visit her blog to view her fabulous mandalas.  The reason I'm not playing with mandalas today is because I didn't want mutiny among my readers and followers.  Comments left the past two days indicate everyone wants to see the project completed, and SOON, too.

As with the previous two days (here and here in case you missed them), I will begin with the supplies needed to complete the task (from back left clockwise):

Practice paper (card stock and paint chip samples used)
Inexpensive acrylic paint (two shades of green used)
Collographic plate
Paper plate to hold paint and glaze
Craft sheet or other product to cover the surface of the table.

Pour a decent amount of glaze and paint of your choice in the paper plate.

Use your brayer to mix or combine the paint and glaze.

Run the brayer over the top of the plate, being careful to get only the highlights, in this case, the tree. Don't do what I did and allow part of the brayer to touch the base of the plate.  You will get a mess on your pulled sheet if you do.  Make sure you wipe off any excess paint and glaze (which of course, I didn't even notice) prior to the next step.

Lay your sheet of paper with the side you want to print facing the plate.  Use your hand or another brayer to press it down and smooth it out, reaching only the high points of the plate.

As an aside, you can use this exact same technique on fabric or copier paper, but you will need another sheet of heavy paper on top because the paint/glaze mixture will seep through to the back and you will get paint on your hand.  I often use an old file folder to cover my fabric, but since I am already using card stock and heavy paint chip samples, I can skip this step.

Once you believe you have made good contact with the collographic plate, gently lift and remove the finished piece.  Set aside to dry.  As you can see, I failed to remove the excess paint, which I didn't notice until I had created a few of these pieces.

Since these were samples I was trying before I used them on my file folders, I printed a few more before I ran out of paint and glaze.

Once the paint was gone, I cleaned the brayer and collographic plate, so they would be ready for use at a future time.  Don't allow wet paint to dry on either your brayer or your plate, because it is practically impossible to clean the plate afterward, which will affect future collagraphs.

Here are a few of the completed prints.   These sat for 12 hours and are STILL not dry, as you can probably tell.  So, you might want to use less glaze than I used.  However, I had to photograph them, or I would not have had finished examples for this post.


1.  You will more than likely get better over time.  Not sure I did, but I got better at knowing how much paint to apply.

2.  Ghost prints (second prints) seem to be the best.

3.  I can't say this enough.  Keep a towel handy to wipe away any part of the paint left from the brayer that gets onto the base of the plate.

4.  Use only enough paint to cover the raised part of the plate.  I failed to remember that and that is why the ghost prints were so much better.  In fact, I might even wipe my brayer off a bit before I color the plate the next time.

5.  Although you can use Shiva/Markle Paint Stiks with this technique, I don't recommend it.  Nor do I recommend using crayons, colored pencils, or ink.  For this collographic plate, paint truly is the best only way to go.

6.  If you have made your collographic plate correctly, you can soak it in soapy water to remove excess paint.  Otherwise, you will have to wipe it down with a wet rag and a bit of running water.

I hope this has inspired you to make your own collographic plate.  This one was about as difficult as the two I made before, but this time I created my own image, rather than relying on found objects.

Today we celebrate Day 18
of AEDM with Leah, our host of this month long event. Are you still having fun?  Do you have better days than others?

My dear art friend and shop-aholic will be here by the time most of us wake on Monday morning.  Needless to say, I don't plan too much for Tuesday T, but of course, I will be here, if only in spirit and a scheduled post.

19 thoughtful remarks:

Janet said...

Ha! Pressure from readers can keep you focused, huh? Your prints are interesting...I think I'm going to try it!

Vicki Miller said...

I like the way they turned out. Hand made is the best. Perfection is overrated

dawn said...

Happy Monday, so glad you shared with us today, excited to see the end result!

YAY, they look great and so cool! I like the colored backgrounds too, nice to see ahead of time. They are cute and would make a nice holiday card.

Thanks so much for sharing all the process pictures and directions, they were perfect.

Have a great day out with your friend. I'm sure we will see the day thru your lens.

I have a less then perfect mandala posted, too windy. Also included my T Time post with it.
Thanks again for giving the readers what they wanted today!

Anonymous said...

Girrrrrrl, you don't need to apologize to me--thanks for the shout out for my blog, though. You are sweet!
I have been following along on your tutorial posts the last days so I totally get the "suspense is killing me" factor, lol
Love the prints and while they are wet you can top them off with glitter if that is your thang ;-)
Have a great day my dear,

see you there! said...

Just read this and the previous how to posts. As always, you are so generous to take the time to make and share the tutorial. This process looks like fun and I'm sure I'll have to try it one day.


Dawn said...

Love the results Elizabeth, they look amazing sweetie. Well worth the effort I'll say.
Huge hugs x x x x

Nan G said...

Loved this tutorial! Thanks for sharing. And you shouldn't feel any pressure from us, please, work at your pace.

Carol said...

Thanks again for sharing :) I can see the Granddaughters and I doing this on one of their longer visits here. Always good to have a stockpile of ides to work on when they visit.

Krisha said...

I agree with Carol, perfect project to do with Grandkids, plus I AM going to do this too. LOL
Great tutorial and the results are fantastic.

Corrine at said...

How fun and charming are these!!!! Great job on your colagraph plates. Maybe they should be called coolagraph plates! xox

Dianne said...

you are a brave soul my's so easy to get too much paint on the plate! perhaps using chunkier string the next time would also help? I need the raised portion of the design to be REALLY raised or I run into the same problem you did. but, prints are a terrific way to get lots of the same image in a short amount of time. Your explanation of the process is very good, and the photos make all the difference in understanding how it works. as always, love the information you share!!

Marilyn J. Rock said...

Great results! xo

Karla B said...

I was itching to leave work and get home just to see what surprise you had for me today.Fabulous work!

darlene said...

Very creative and such detailed instructions too. But kind of messy. I'm always creating messes with my experiments too.

Harvest Moon by Hand said...

It's interesting how different each one came out, even though the image is the same. The amount of paint...the pressure placed when pressing onto the stamp/plate...all affect it so much. Thanks for doing the multi-day tutorial. Enjoyed it!

voodoo vixen said...

I love the way they have turned out and it does mean you can run a few using the same design which should speed the C card making a bit!! LOL

~*~Patty S said...

Great fun seeing your results E...
this is a nice way to crank out a pieces too!
Your tree prints are very nice...
You would faint if you saw how my brayer looks ;)

Eliza said...

I have had fun watching you create this that is for sure and yes maybe a little less paint but hey they is great in hindsight and we are looking from a distance. Still very interesting exercise, keep up the good work.

Hugs Eliza

Anoeska said...

Thanks for sharing this! It looks really cool!