Sunday 29 March 2020

Tigers & Mucky Bottoms!

Normally if I'm printing more than one colour I try and add all my colours onto one collagraph printing plate and print it in one go, as its a lot easier! I decided to challenge myself and try out a different method involving two printing plates and a mucky bottom! I thought I would depict my favourite subject, a tiger.

Here are the two printing plates side by side. One is very much like my normal collagraph printing plate with lots of detail and tone, the other is a bit more abstract and will be used for background of the image.

I started by inking up the more abstract plate for the background with a lovely vibrant orange ink. (apologies for the blurriness of this image, trying to take the photo left handed and not succeeding very well!)

The background plate is inked and then wiped so that the rougher areas of the printing plate hold more ink and the smoother areas hold less ink and will therefore print lighter. It is ready to be printed. 

But first I need to get the main printing plate ready to print as I will be printing them almost at the same time. I've had to completely clean up everything first, getting rid of any orange ink, newspaper, gloves etc so I don't contaminate this plate with any orange ink. The printing pate is then covered in blue/black ink and then wiped with newspaper and tissue paper. 

The main printing plate ready to be printed.

Firstly the background printing plate is placed onto the printing press onto a clean scrap piece of paper and a slightly dampened piece of printing paper is put on top, with the blanket on top of this. This is then run under the rollers so that it prints onto the slightly dampened paper. The paper is then peeled back and very carefully trapped under the rollers so that it doesn't move and the printing plate is removed.

This leaves behind an imprint of where the printing plate was on the scrap paper, its mucky bottom! 

I can then place the main printing plate on top of this mucky bottom (making sure I put it the right way up!) aligning exactly where the first printing plate was on the scrap paper and as the slightly dampened paper was trapped in the rollers it should go back over the printing plate in exactly the same place as where the first plate was.

This then goes through the rollers again transferring the black ink on top of the already printed orange image. The big reveal, has it worked or not?

One tiger hot off the printing press!

Then repeat many times! 

"Tiger Sit" Limited Edition Collagraph Print

Here's the finished tiger print, I'm thinking of trying it in a few different colours too!

Clare xx

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