Collaged printing paper


These prints explore another way of applying colour to the print- using collage on the printing paper then printing onto it.

The differences between collage and chine colle:

Whereas the chine colle paper can move en route to the printing page, the collaged paper can be better controlled.

The collaged paper can be left to dry, to avoid problems with the glue interacting with the printing ink.

Both can use transparent papers, but thicker papers may be used in collage.

My experience of both chine colle and collage is that the page gets buckled. (There may be ways of stopping this) Whereas with chine colle, the ink will always print directly onto the chine colle paper, when it is a collaged paper, the printing block may be inclined to move during printing, making the print irregular. The layering of different papers for the collage also creates an irregular surface which will affect the print quality.

The collaged prints here also involve double printing: the first print establishes where the shapes are and guides the application of coloured paper. If the paper is transparent, a double print effect will be achieved.

Spanish Landscape

This print from a linocut (Spanish Landscape: one I prepared earlier!) was done by printing one layer on white paper, using water-based inks for quicker drying. Tissue paper was then cut/ torn to fit, glued down and left to dry. The final print is in oil-based ink. There is a slight movement between top and bottom prints, so that the lines are slightly blurry in effect. The tissue paper is thin however, so it has not created a very rough surface, therefore the print is quite regular. On the other hand, there are some wrinkles in the tissue paper, which has created texture.

I wonder if this particular linocut is a bit too fussy for this kind of treatment however. The sheer number of lines and colours are quite confusing to the eye. Personally I prefer this print left as it is, printed in a monotone. The layering of tissue does have nice possibilities for creating glazed effects, and intermediate colours. The sky here has worked well, with the layering of blue, beige and lilac.

Kneeling Woman

(Second photo to be added)

These two prints were also made by printing onto a page which had coloured paper pre-glued. The coloured paper in this case is a type of fancy gift wrapping paper which is fibrous and highly porous, so, if it had been made as chine colle, the glue would have gone straight through and affected the ink. As it is, the glue shines through and creates a slight sparkle. The ink also has a sheen where it has printed on the fibres of the paper. I like both of these, as they look soft and suggest skin. The printing paper, a Sakusi smooth paper has resisted buckling much better than the cartridge paper used for the other prints. Or perhaps it is the collaged paper, which, being so fibrous and open-weave, has more give in it.

Gauguin woodcut

This is done by combining the open weave gift wrap with tissue paper, for interesting effects. The tissue paper resists the ink slightly and leaves it with a shiny finish, whereas the fibrous gift wrap absorbs the ink and has a dull finish. This creates a contrast of soft and hard which works quite well for the highlights on the fruit.

Rood Tree

The one I think works absolutely the best however, is the rood tree print. For this, I mixed ink and paint, and soaked some layers of Chinese calligraphy paper.  Making brush marks, scrunching and blotting resulted in random marks, pools of ink in folds, and uptake of ink marks into the texture of the paper. I chose from these the parts that I thought best fit the shape of the letters to be overprinted, as well as trying to form them into a pleasing shape that was suggestive of a tree but still open to ambiguity.

The buckled collaged paper, as observed created an uneven printing surface which meant there was movement during the printing. To create the effect of wear on the type, I also brushed over the ink with a dry cloth before printing. And I think this works well. It’s reminiscent of a roughly printed sack- the texture suggests this too. The colours are slightly muddy, but atmospheric and evocative of woods, moisture and gloom. I like the interplay of softness and hardness, of surface and depth, and the feel of being “abras’d”, or ill-used. The red inscription “idolatrie” is now toned down a little, struggling to emerge from the background. Whereas all my earlier combination mono/lino prints of this theme were clearly two distinct layers, I feel this print integrates the two much better.