Assignment 4 – Collatype collage block prints

Assignment 4 asks for a selection of prints from projects 11-12.

Contents of my submission

Task 1 (Project 11)

Collage test plate

Collage test plate

Molding paste plate print

Molding paste plate print

2 prints of textured collage test block

Critical Statement

Choice of subject and colours

These test collage blocks were done after experimenting with larger blocks and hand rubbing the impression using a wooden spoon which was found to not be very effective. Working with a smaller block and concentrating on very low relief items, I was able to get a good impression using a small hydraulic press.

The block using different textured objects was inked up in green with a paintbrush to get into all the crevices, wiped off and then re-inked in orange. This combination gives a nice effect to the print.

The collage items used were:

  1. Hole reinforcers
  2. Parcel tape
  3. Star, circle and square stickers
  4. Scrim
  5. Plasterboard tape
  6. String
  7. Onion and fennel seeds
  8. Textured wallpaper
  9. Sandpaper
  10. Textured wallpaper
  11. Carbundrum
  12. Textured wallpaper
  13. Ribbon
  14. Metal foil
  15. Tissue paper

The textured surface block that worked best was the one using acrylic gel medium molding paste. This was inked up by dab printing in green and purple. The marks made give a strong differentiation between the raised inked and the low un-inked surfaces.

Outcome

Two clean prints of test collage blocks, showing the impressions of some interesting textures and methods of inking the blocks which have the potential to represent many different things going forwards to the representational print in project 12.

Task 2 (Project 12)

Grey map print

Grey map print

Coloured map print

Coloured map print

Trees print

Trees print

3 prints of representational themed collage block

Critical Statement

Choice of subject and colours

Map block

The map based block is a progression from using maps in some of my earlier prints. I chose an area where there are many interesting features which I thought would translate well into a print and created the block through sketching on site, simplifying and making up areas.

Collage items were chosen for their textures and ability to represent the features on the aerial view of the landscape.

Grey was chosen for the single colour print in the same way as a black and white map. For the coloured block, the colours were chosen to represent the features.

Trees block

This was chosen as a subject because I thought the textures used in my test block looked like tree bark and various types of vegetation. I collected materials from the woodland featured in the map block and tried to use some of this in the prints.

Colours were again chosen to match the objects they were aiming to represent.

Prints chosen:

  1. Grey map print: inked up and rubbed off in places before printing. I think this is the best print from this block, although whether you can tell what it represents without the colour is another matter. Printed on Saunders Waterford paper.
  2. Coloured map print: All over brown print, rubbed off in places. Followed by a green print with the river ink rubbed off, followed by a blue print with the land masked out. There is a slight registration error on this print and the green ink would have worked better being rubbed off partially in the trees. The masking has also produced white lines separating the ground and river which detracts from the print. Printed on Saunders Waterford paper.
  3. Trees print: selectively inked in green and brown. These colours aren’t that different which works quite well and almost gives a monochrome image. Printed on an unknown make of watercolour paper.

Outcome

Two prints I am quite happy with and one which is the best of the rest. I struggled to get the collage blocks to print very well, even with my hydraulic press and I think an etching press is a must for this type of work.

Assessment criteria

Demonstration of technical and visual skills

I think the design and composition of my prints work well, but the translation into colour with the map block hasn’t worked very well.

My image registration is not perfect where it was used on the three colour block, but the main problem I had was in getting good ink coverage.

Quality of outcome

I am pleased with the grey map and tree prints, but not with the coloured map print. I think this print could have worked using selective inking, but only using an etching press to get sufficient pressure.

Demonstration of creativity

I am happy with the subjects chosen which I think both work well in this medium. I could have perhaps been more adventurous with the textures used, using more different textures to represent the landscape features and a different, more interesting texture for the top background of the tree print and more variety in the tree trunks.

Context

I think I have mostly made the right decisions in composition and materials for what I was planning to achieve and overall I am moderately pleased with these prints, especially considering the difficulties I have experienced in getting a good print. I am looking forward to returning to lino though!

All my background work for this assignment is in this blog and sketchbook.

Tutor Feedback

My tutor’s overall comments:

Assignment 4 explores the new techniques involved in Collatype printing, experimenting with collaged materials to create a textured surface for printing from. Overall your prints for assignment 4 show a good sense of experimenting with materials in order to make your collage blocks. Some struggling with print pressure has shown your ingenuity in making your own press! More development of ideas in your sketchbook would help to expand the compositions possibilities as you approach the final print.

Suggestions to take forward:

Sketchbook work

  • much more rigorous drawing in my sketchbook, getting into an idea for a print, developing the subject and experimenting with the composition and colours.

Research

  • pick out one or two examples of work in the next project, write a short paragraph on what elements of the print might inspire your own development.
  • look at the surrealist artist Max Ernst collage prints, to see how you can use texture to marry powerful ideas with experimental print techniques.
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