I decided to try some collograph printing at nightschool. I tried four different plates to see what would work best.
This one is just strips of thin card from a biscuit wrapper with some scraps of thread that I found on the table and some wool stretched across.
Next I tried just slicing a layer off the cardboard base and peeling back some of the top so that the corrugated piece showed through. Then I stabbed holes with a pencil.
I found a piece of crochet and used that as another plate.
And finally I used pieces of fabric and a selvedge I found in the scrap box and some crumpled tissue paper.
All the pieces were glued to the card board plate and then sealed with a 50:50 mix of pva and water. When they were dry I inked up the plate by covering my finger in fabric and dipping it into the printing ink and rubbing it over the plate. I had dampened the paper in a bowl of water and I layered up the printing blanket, scrap paper, inked plate, dampened paper and another layer of blanket and rolled it all through the printing press. I also tried printing onto fabric.
The results were pretty mixed, but as an experiment it was very informative. Some of the materials used were more successful than others. The selvedge with the row or stitching worked really well, so did the little piece of sequinned fabric, the lines gouged with pen lid, the fancy square fabric and the heavy net. The crumpled tissue paper and the woven plastic were not as successful and were very dependent on the correct amount of ink to produce any kind of successful image.
The crochet doilly was too thick really. I wasn't very pleased with the image printed from this plate.
The plain cardboard was ok - a bit boring - didn't have a lot of variety.
The plate made with the scrap thread though produced a lovely print, and the net behind was also successful.
If I try this again I hope I will be able to make a more informed choice of base materials to create the plate from.
I also tried rubbings from the plates. I used a fabric crayon onto poly-cotton. Again this produced some interesting results. Definitely worth considering for future projects.