Another activity we tried at Dianne's art retreat this July was making collographs. At a previous get-together, the members of text'art prepared collograph plates. In other words, we glued textural material to heavy-grade corrugated cardboard. We tried to keep the height of the items consistent from one material to another. For example, if you used grains of rice, that's only 1 mm in height. If you used beans, it might be 5 mm high. Shapes cut from corrugated cardboard, burlap, elastic bands, paper clips, or any number of (more or less flat) items from the hardware store or the pantry all qualify.
After allowing the plate to dry, we waterproofed it with a coat of acrylic medium or paint.
Using the plate to make a print onto cotton is pretty simple. Basically, position the plate on a table and apply acrylic paint to it with a stencil brush, foam brush or foam roller. Then carefully lay the cotton onto the painted surface and apply pressure.
- begin with hand-dyed cotton or with plain,
- use a brayer or your hands to ensure contact between the cotton and the painted plate,
- use a cushioning layer like batting or felt between the cotton and the brayer/hand,
- overprint by stamping or stencilling.
Once you have your printed cotton, the question arises, "Now what do I do with this?"
For these pieces, I have appliquéd shapes in fiberglass screening to the print, and have used hand and machine stitching to enhance the shapes made by the paint.
These pieces have been matted and wrapped, ready to be offered as "unframed work" at several shows this fall.
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