Monday, 8 December 2014

Printing Pink Hippos!

Normally this time of year I have a sudden rush on one of my prints and then have to hurriedly reprint them to meet demand! This year it has been pink and plum hippo collagraph prints!

I thought I would take a few photos while I was printing as I always like to see behind the scenes of artwork being produced. Its quite difficult taking photos when you are a bit inky but my camera is used to being covered in ink and paint!

Printing a Pink Hippo Collagraph Print

  A Collagraph print is a print produced from a cardboard printing plate which has various textures applied to it. The more texture it has the more ink it retains so it will print darker, the smoother the surface the ink will be wiped off so it will print lighter.

I use bits of spare mountboard to make my collagraph printing plates. Heres one of my most popular ones a Hippo being inked up with pink etching ink. The whole of the printing plate is covered in a layer of ink. The reason the printing plate has a slight blue colour to it is because it was last printed with blue ink and as it is only card it retains the colour slightly.

 Here the Hippo is being wiped gently with a piece of newspaper to take the ink back off again. (My tutor at University always told me to "caress the plate"!)

Here is the printing plate wiped and ready to print on my etching press.

My lovely etching press in action. It lives on my dining room table and is quite heavy to move so we generally eat around it! I really do need a new blanket for it as I accidently printed a meerkat onto it while printing one of my bags!

The dampened paper is placed over the printing plate and then the blanket of the printing press on top and the whole thing is rolled through the press which forces the ink onto the paper and also the weight of it slightly embosses the paper.

The moment of truth when the paper is lifted off the printing plate and the image is revealed! Always a surprise as even thought you plan everything you never quite know what you will get!

The collagraph print hot of the press. You can see the image has reversed, it can be quite strange working backwards all the time but you get used to it!

A whole Pod of Hippos drying on my spare room bed!

The finished prints ready for sale!
Pink Hippo Collagraph Print

Plum Hippo Collagraph Print

Clare xx