Saturday, 16 December 2006

Collograph 1

So picture me, youngest son in attendance, logging in to get him to help me upload pictures, only to find that I now have a toolbar, complete with picture icon, which was absolutely NOT THERE last time I looked. Needless to say, youngest son has yet another example of Mother going soft in the head!

Purple Missus asked what is a collograph. Basically, its a collage that you make prints from, so texture is all important. Everything has to be the same height, otherwise it won't print, so something that is a good texture won't necessarily print well.

The brief for my collograph was to make a print based on a textural study of a particular area, and I made a series of drawings, rubbings, and prints and took lots of photographs of the garden of the house we stayed at in southern France earlier this year.

What you have to do is stick stuff to cardboard, let the glue dry, then varnish it. These are some varnished blocks, ready for printing from. I used kitchen foil, sandpaper, pumpkin seeds, grasses, and gesso.

I printed the blocks using black acrylic paint with a bit of fluid retarder mixed in to make the paint last a bit longer. (Works quite well) The first lot are an attempt at creating a bark texture using scrunched up brown paper (left) and sandpaper. I started off with quite a fine sandpaper, then tried it with a much coarser sandpaper, but unexpectedly, the finer sandpaper is better. The next ones are made with thick piping cord. The one on the right the block moved, hence the double image.

This next one I used scrunched up kitchen foil to create tree bark, some vegetable nets to create moss on a wall, and some wonderful textured cardboard which arrived as packaging, but was extremely disappointing. Below that are some prints made from gesso blocks, which were an attempt at creating a stone wall. I layered gesso onto the card and then made marks in the gesso, but didn't find them very successful. In the end, I cut the blocks up into individual "stones" and stuck them down separatly , which I was much happier with.

Next step was to make a mock up of the finished collograph. The brief was to design a book cover for a book about texture, aiming to give a sense of place of the area I had studied. This was the second attempt.

All I have to do now is make the final block and make three prints, at least one of which has to be black and white. Going to finish my Christmas shopping on Monday, so will include a trip to the art shop to look for some hand made papers.

Sunday, 3 December 2006


Not a happy bunny this morning!
Have spent the last hour trying to find out how to upload photographs - and failed!well I did say that I am not very computer literate. Youngest son will help me sort it out - no doubt it will only take him a second.
I have been working on a collograph, part of my textures module. I've been creating various textures by sticking things to pieces of card, but I am finding it really difficult. Something with a really good texture doesn't necessarily print well. And its such a slow process - first you have to wait for the glue to dry before you can varnish, then you have to wait for the varnish to dry before you can print.
Varying success - crumpled cooking foil makes a really good bark texture, dried grasses make a lovely block - but is it a texture? Tried various grades of sandpaper to give the effect of lichen on a tree trunk. Surprisingly, I'm getting better results from a finer, rather than a courser grade, which is not what I would have expected at all.
Photographs have been taken, and will be posted, once I find out how!!

Thursday, 23 November 2006

Here we go!!

Well, I've taken the plunge!! I've been reading other people's blogs for ages, and I thought it was about time I started one of my own.

The aim is to chart my (painfully slow) progress through C&G "Exploring Embroidery", which I am doing as distance learning with Opus School of Stitch Textiles. I'm currently two-thirds of the way through Module 3 -"Nature's coverings". All about texture.

Over the next few days, I shall record and post some of the stuff I have done in this module, that's if I can navigate my way through the site! I'm only a couple of rungs above computer illiterate.

Having said that I am also doing "Creative Computing into Stitched Textiles" with Hazel Credland, and, apart from being really interesting, its definitely improving my computer skills generally. The course explores using Paintshop Pro as a design tool.