Project 12: Different versions of a collage block print
I give up trying to understand what is required in Assignment 4, whether it is one block or a series of related ones, whether it is a variety of collage techniques on a single block (which sounds like a recipe for a dog’s breakfast to me), or whether it means printing the single block in a variety of ways. (“You may use a variety of coloured inks and inking processes and papers to print your series”: i.e. this is not the essential bit of the assignment.) Given the price of the course materials, I think someone could at least read them through to check they make sense. However, given that’s not so, I will just interpret them myself. I am going to explore different ways of printing a single collage block. And given that I have already demonstrated to myself the truth of the dictum that “less is more”, I’m not cluttering up a block with stuff just for the sake of it.
While waiting for the knitted block to dry- very dense so it takes a long time -I have worked with the Reclining Nude block.
Here are variations on that block, printed on A2 Susuki Rainbow 160 gsm cartridge paper- nice and smooth- and also on Chinese calligraphy paper, the smooth side. There are two colours and sizes of paper, but both are scrolls which I have printed on horizontally.
Version 1: A2 Black water-based ink, printed with a printing press
Version 2: Single-colour: Blue oil-based ink, printed by hand on Chinese calligraphy paper
The effect is rougher as the imprint as not as strong. This paper is relatively easy to work with as it is so thin that you can see the imprint from the other side. Of course, it’s quite fragile.
Version 3: A2 cartridge paper, selective inking
Blue and black selective rolling- black on lines, blue on background, rolled on then wiped off with turpentine. This is gradually getting lighter and going towards an image that looks a bit more like etching. I liked the idea of using turpentine to dissolve the ink as it creates a scrubbed look.. The colour differences are quite subtle here.
Version 3: Selective inking using rollers and dabbers
Red and green, green rolled, red dabbed
Here, some of the blue still shines through, as it’s impossible to clean thoroughly. This is on a calligraphy paper scroll, which is quite narrow.
This is a second impression of the same block, on cartridge paper: I thought my dabbing might have been a bit heavy handed the first time.
Frankly, I just wasn’t loving these effects. So went back to one colour, and decided to try a bit of paper collage, or chine colle. Using some tissue paper from a gift box, I cut out a rough shape to fit the ‘ground’ in the image.
Version 4: Blue/ Black again, cartridge paper, chine colle
I liked this, better than any of the others. But decided to go back to dabbing different colours while using turpentine to clean the block and make prints at the same time.. Yes, the block was beginning to wear a bit but it was surprising how much punishment it could take.
Version 5: Turpentine dabbed block with dabbed red and yellow
This is printed on a calligraphy scroll, which took the dissolved ink quite well, creating soft effects in contrast with the hard dabbed lines. Quite liked it, a keeper.
Put more turps on- the layers of ink that were already on the block started to come out as the image gets paler and softer.
But, still not loving it, so went back to what I’d liked best- black ink, plus chine colle. Some more tissue paper.
This is my favourite for the day, and the block is really starting to wear out, so am stopping at this one.
Ironically, due to the accident of the colour of tissue in a gift box, it has come full circle back to the colour scheme of the original sketch.