D.A.B. - Carborundum Collagraph WorkshopEllen Terrell, a potter living in the Mossman region recently invited me to submit a workshop proposal for a 3-day Carborundum Collagraph Workshop as part of a RADF funding application for the local arts group D.A.B. Douglas Art Group
|D.A.B. Studio Gallery Mossman FNQ|
I had an enjoyable 6-hour drive north of Townsville arriving early on Friday evening to a very warm welcome by Ellen and D.A.B’s outgoing treasurer Liz Showniruk, and her family. We enjoyed a lovely evening at the Exchange Hotel Mossman including a dance with the locals to a rock band in the front bar before heading to her property at Whyanbeel Valley situated in the rainforest 10 minutes north of Mossman.
|Saturday Markets - Mossman FNQ|
On a Saturday morning in Mossman, there is a local market full of fresh fruit and veg, a hairdresser amongst other professional’s, handcrafted wares including hand-printed tea towels and aprons. I purchased a lovely apron for the workshop designed and printed by Mary.
Day 1 - Introduction to materials, image design, and plate creation
D.A.B. have an etching press 40 x 70 cm. fitted with a good thick blanket suited to Collagraph printing. The press size determined the maximum size of the plates for use, 25 x 51cm. We were using full sheets of strawboard 101 x 76cm. We were able to get 6 cut plates from one full sheet with no wastage.
We covered all the basics of studio practice included setting the press, clean paper areas, messy plate creation areas, demonstrations on sealing the plates and making your own textured mediums, composition and mark making.
|D.A.B members applying Shellac|
|Ellen working with PVA|
|Lea applying Carborundum grit|
|Britta tearing back the surface of the plate for texture|
|Lil exploring mark making|
Day 2 – Plate creation & printing
The D.A.B. group purchased 3 different weight Hahnemuhle papers, 300 gsm, 230 gsm, and 150 gsm to use for printing. The lightweight paper, 150 gsm, was used for image transfer as part of multi-plate registration. The 230gsm for proofing and 300gsm for printing final prints. I gave a demonstration on inking up with a stipple brush or plastic card. We discussed when best to use transparency and how to mix it into your inks. I demonstrated different ways of wiping back using paper and or tarlatan.
The group really enjoyed these activities, especially pulling their first print, and making ghost prints for further overprinting at a later date.
|Inga printing plate 2 of 3 colours/3 plate collagraph print|
|Inga & Ellen marvelling at Inga's print|
|Gail working on a design|
|Test plates printed with varying blacks and transparency ink|
Day 3 – Printing
Everyone seemed to get straight into it displaying confidence and enthusiasm. All the prints coming off the press were terrific and bold.
|Inking and wiping the collagraph plates|
|Lea's 4 colour/3 plate collagraph print|
|Britta's 3 colour/3 plate collagraph print|
|Gail's 2 plate/2 colour collagraph print|
|Britta & Inga|
|Lil printing a textured plate made using a textured medium|
|Lea reflecting on her collagraph prints|
|Inga experimenting with colour and transparency ink|
|Lil's 2 colour/3 plate collagraph print|
In summary, the workshop explored multi-plate colour printing using textured collagraph plates. Workshop participants worked to create a series of plates that were printed in succession producing multi-colour prints. Engaging with a diverse range of materials, plate creation, monoprinting techniques, including the use of transparent ink.
Carborundum Collagraph: Carborundum grits (silicon carbide, lithography graining grit) are mixed with glue and applied to the surface of strawboard, perspex or plastic etching plates to produce rich tonal areas, often in a very painterly manner. The plates may also be incised, abraded, or attacked with various sharp hand and/or electric tools to create velvety linear marks, and/or combined with monotype.
I’d like to say a very big thank you to the D.A.B management committee, and artists for the invitation to facilitate a workshop in their very friendly gallery and studio. Including the outgoing president Liz Showniruk and her family for welcoming me into their home. Liz runs her own Studio & gallery, Whyanbeel Valley Studio & Art Gallery which includes and the most stunning Artists Residence accommodation available for hire.