Collagraphy was totally new to me when I signed up for Sally Hirst’s Complete Creative Collagraphy course last year. Suddenly a new world opened up for me.  I loved making the plates, then inking and printing them.

Sally has done a vast amount of research on tools and supplies which is invaluable to a beginner and the videos are clear and concise. They cover everything you would possibly need to know. Sally is also on hand via email or on the Printmakers Forum to answer any questions you may have.

The first plates were made using beer mats, mount board, perspex drypoint plates, mirror card etc; mainly by carving out a design and adding masking tape, foil and tissue. The foil can be scratched into in the same way a design can be scratched into the perspex plates.

First plates

Inked plates

First proof prints

Print and ghost print

Combined card and drypoint plates

Plate made from packaging

In part 2 of the course, plates are made by using acrylic-based paints, gels and mediums along with textured papers such as wallpaper, handmade papers and packaging.

Textured papers can also be made by pushing acrylic gels through stencils or marks can be made in the gel with various tools.

Found materials plate

Proof print of found materials plate

Found materials and reductive plate combined (I think I need more practise with registration!)

I then went on to make several long plates with a silk base built up with gels….and there I have stayed (for now anyway!)

Proof print of my first silk based print

Colour print

My second silk-based long plate is more controlled. It takes practise to achieve the right consistency of the gels.

Second silk plate

I added an inked piece of die cut paper to the plate to fill a blank space.

Second print in red then turned around and printed again in black.

With my third silk plate I made adjustments at the press.

I then used acrylic paint and stencils to modify the print.

There is so much more to the course than this little snapshot and I look forward to spending many more pleasurable hours working my way through it.

Stensils used are from Stencilgirl and Tim Holt as well as my own designs,

By Lynne Butt

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