How To Collagraph
How To Collagraph
A collagraph is a fun way of achieving abstract prints with materials like cardboard and other kinds of paper and, of course, your paint. Step-by-step instructions are seen in this film on how to make a collagraph.
A collagraph is a way of printing using different materials of uneven surfaces and interesting textures in a creative way. With the collagraph, like anything that involves glue, you can't really print on it until it is dry. So, prepare a block like this orange print off in advance.
A block is when we print from something that we built up or we cut away parts of it from. Build it up from a base which is a piece of ordinary cardboard and build up your materials on top of it. You can use textured wallpaper with effects in the right light and other wallpapers out there.
It gives a completely different texture when you print it. There are all kinds of things you can use to print from. Corrugated cardboard is wonderful.
These are pieces of corrugated card with different sizes of corrugations. So, how do you start? With your block, work what you want the collagraph to look like. It can be abstract, it can be imaginative, or it can be something quite specific.
It can be related to a person or animal. You can really do anything you like with a collagraph and be quite inventive and imaginative. That usually works best.
For a simple abstract pattern, use two kinds of paper. Cut a border out but if you want to cut a hole out in the middle, the easiest way is to fold the paper over, make a mark to start, fold it symmetrically and cut out there. That's going to be your border to be glued.
You can also work on scrapbook paper. Gluing the back of the cardboard, be quite liberal because you do want all these pieces to stick down well. If things are not stuck down properly, you can probably imagine what will happen.
Turn that over and bring the cardboard into play. Put the corrugated cardboard at the top that's been cut already to about the same size, pat that down and hopefully that will dry fairly quickly. After letting it dry, put some more interesting marks inside.
Take your wallpaper and cut some shapes of it. Look at some oval patterns and play around with it. If it's the wrong size, then you can just cut it down.
Arrange the pieces in a certain way before you glue them all down. Have pieces coming in from the top alternating with pieces from the bottom. Arrange it however you want to build it up.
Once you've stuck the pieces down and let it dry, you can then think about inking and printing. If you take two colours, one for the first print and print now with a different darker colour over the top of it slightly unjustified, that gives it more exciting feel. Have a tray for your ink.
Take your inking roller, get an even spread of ink on my roller and let it dry. Depending on the kind of material you're using, if it was hardened that you could actually wash up and wipe the colour off, then do the second ink. But using paper, leave it to dry.
Put a second colour now over the top and already just on the block, the colours are looking quite exciting. Place it down to one side of the first printout, press that down evenly, turn it over, use hand pressure to feel the edges of the block and press right up the corners. Peel off the paper and see what your printouts are like together.
There's your final collagraph print in two colours.