!! Post in process
For details of my own collagraph prints and techniques see: Collagraph Techniques
Origins of collagraph printing
There is no exact date for the beginnings of collagraph printing. It evolved alongside other intaglio and relief printing, particularly with the move towards abstraction, introduction of ‘found’ materials and use of collage and mixed media in 1950s and 1960s. It was also helped by the widespread availability of new, cheap materials like acrylics and very strong adhesives.
Pierre Roche – sculptor developed gypsographic printing using bas-relief plaster engraving – inked in relief and printed by hand onto dampened paper, leaving a slightly raised blind embossing. Later he added layers of an adhesive called gypsum onto metal plate for an embossed effect.
Bauhaus: Klee, Picasso, Braque, Schwitters and Moholy-Nagy used collage materials and this was adopted by printmakers.
Rolf Nesch: one of the first artists to have consciously used collage to create collagraph printing plates. He gave depth and texture to prints by soldering out metal shapes and wire to metal printing plates. He then took this further by drilling holes in plates and sewing to the base plate. The prints were so deep he hneeded 8 blankets to get the right pressure and very heavy strong paper.
William Hayter developed viscosity printing – a technique that allowed a single printing plate to be printed in many colours. The basic principle is that the viscosity or stickiness of an ink can be reduced by adding linseed oil. A stiff viscous ink will absorb and mix with an oily ink laid over the top. But if an ink full of oil is placed on the plate first, it will reject a dry viscous ink and will not mix with it.
Richard Hamilton mixed painting with forms of printmaking, such as collotype, lithograph and silkscreen.
Joan Miro created numerous collagraphs combining carborundum, aquatint and etching.
Henry Moore used collograph and resist techniques in versions of his drawings
Brenda Hartill has been very influential in UK, building on Hayter’s techniques of viscosity printing.
Hughie O-Donoghue produces large abstract figures using acrylic and carborundum
Other collagraph artists:
- Katie Jones
- Helga Thomson
- Mari French
- Tessa Horrocks
- Kim Major George
- Jet James
- Laurie Rudlin
- Marlene Groinic
- Diane Bamford
D’arcy Hughes, A. & Vernon-Morris, H., (2008) The Printmaking Bible: the complete guide to materials and techniques, San Francisco: Chronicle Books.
Grabowski, B. & Flick, B., (2009) Printmaking: A Complete Guide to Materials and processes, London: Lawrence King Publishing.
Hartill, B. & Clarke, R., (2005) Collagraphs and mixed media printmaking, London: A&C Black.
Major-George, K., (2011) Collagraph: a journey through texture, UK: Major Impact.
Martin, J., (1993) The Encyclopedia of Printmaking Techniques,London: Quarto Publishing.
Stobart, J., (2001) Printmaking for Beginners, London: A&C Black.
Woods, L., (2011) The Printmaking Handbook: Simple techniques and step-be-step projects, London: Search Press.