Monday, August 1, 2011

Using paints and glazes with your collographic plates

Now that we've played with Paint Stiks and our collographic plates, I will show you why you need a waterproof collographic plate.

Supplies (from left):
Collographic plates
Rolling pin (alternately a brayer)
Watercolor paper, one sheet
Faux credit card (did not use during this tutorial)
Paint brush
Fluid acrylics (did not use during this tutorial)
Hand washed fabrics
Butcher paper (or other material) to cover work surface

1. Place a small amount of glaze on the collographic plate. Using a brush or a faux credit card, spread the glaze around.

Be sure you have covered the plate. Alternately, you can roll a brayer over the plate.

2. Place fabric with the right side facing the plate.

3. If you are using a rolling pin or brayer that you do not want paint transferred to, lay a piece of watercolor paper on top of the fabric.

4. Roll your brayer or rolling pin over the paper and fabric. Roll in one direction only. Do not roll back and forth.

It might be prudent to talk about the various advantages of a rolling pin and a brayer. Soft brayers make it more difficult to get a good impression, while hard brayers may not be as wide as your collographic plate. It is important to start at one end of the plate, roll the brayer in one direction, lift and return the brayer to the same end of the plate. By rolling back and forth, you take the chance of the fabric slipping and creating multiple images. Since I'm brayer challenged anyway, I thought a rolling pin would be the ultimate answer to the problem.

5. Remove the fabric from the plate and do something I failed to do: immediately clean it with mild soap and water.

I'm not sure you can see the collographic designs (dragonflies and coins) made on this fabric. The glaze I used was too close to, or compatible with, the fabric's background color. In fact, I had a hard time trying to come up with an appropriate color for this fabric. Look carefully, though and you can see the dragonflies on the right side of the fabric and the oriental coins on the left side.

I also had a bit of glaze on the watercolor paper that saved the rolling pin from glaze.

For the second plate, I accidentally got way, way too much glaze on the plate. Without removing the beige glaze from my brush, I tried to spread the glaze as best I could.

Once again I laid the fabric right side facing the painted surface. The glaze began seeping through the fabric

even before I laid the watercolor paper over it.

The watercolor paper soaked up any excess glaze, while the fabric

became a jumbled mess of stiff dark blue paint.

Of course, I still had the butcher paper, although I had nothing else on my patio table I could use with the excess paint on the plate.

The first piece of butcher paper yielded this,

while the second piece of butcher paper produced a much fainter print and far less excess paint around the edges.

And the reason you want a waterproof collographic plate is so you can wash it with mild liquid soap and water after you have used it. Just make sure you don't allow the plate to sit unattended in the hot sun before washing it, or much of the paint or glaze will dry on the plate.

At the end of the day, my clothesline held the results of my experiments with collographic plates, glazes, and fabric. I hope this showed another way a collographic plate can be used in the surface design of your fabric or paper.

I made these yesterday, and today I went shopping in a car that had no AC. At 8:33 am, it was 97 degrees F at my bank. At 10:42, it was 104 F. Not sure what the temperature is supposed to be today, but it's been 107 F at least the past two days. So, if you play along with collographic plates using paint and fabric, be sure you have a cool day and a pan of soapy water handy. Once again, this is a bit of "do as I say, not as I do" piece of advice! And stay cool if you live in the US. The rest of the world seems to be doing OK, except for Cyprus!

5 thoughtful remarks:

Julia Dunnit said...

I like the blue on blue and the first piece of butcher paper - looks ancient! Looks as though you're growing sweetcorn behind the washing line?

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

I meant to ask in my earlier comment, what is butcher's paper like?
I always thought Sunday was the first day of the week actually, it's only in recent years I've wondered, still not sure but everyone else seems to consider Monday the first day of the week here :-/
Anne xx

Lynn said...

Looks like good messy fun! But you can keep those tempatures! Yikes!

La Dolce Vita said...

happy tea day... yes far too hot, we are sweltering here, little rain and when it does come, it is brutally humid... stay out of hot cars... ! happy icy tea day... xo

see you there! said...

Your experiments always provide such good information. I wouldn't have thought to use this method on fabric. I need to try it.