MM Part Four – Research – Print Trials – Collatype

Collotype is a part of this section of work and I was keen to try out some initial ideas outside of them being part of the work produced for the final assignment submission.

Initial advice from my tutor was to keep the surfaces to print from quite low. This would allow for less large, white gaps to be seen in the final prints and also help them look less ‘primary school’.

I began by cutting cardboard squares of different sizes and covering them with different materials. These ranged from carpet to various yarns and tapes.

I began by dabbing on ink but found that this did not transfer a sufficient amount of ink on to all materials used. Also it resulted in some areas receiving large amounts of ink and others very little. It was difficult to see where this had happened after a few layers of ink had been applied or when re-inking a plate.

I then printed the first couple of plates by hand with dry paper. I was not happy with these prints as very little ink had been transferred and much of the detail of the materials used had been lost.

I have a small roller printing press that I have so far failed to get to grips with but thought that these test plates would be a good way to get to know that press and that I might be able to use it for future printing exercises.

I re-inked some of the plates and put them through the press with dry paper. These gave prints with more detail and I was much happier with those. However I was still struggling to get the pressure on the press correct.

From these prints it was clear to see that the composition of a materials surface determined the tone produced when only one colour of ink was applied. Yarns with tight weaves resulted in darker prints than loose weaves. And smooth surfaced tape gave a lighter print than textured tape.

This may come in useful for future prints.


I then repeated the printing of these plates by pressing them in to the inked surface of a Gelli plate. The Gelli plate can hold quite a lot of detail and so gave some good, negative prints, from these textured plates.

Here the soft Gelli plate surface has benefited the prints as it allows the materials used on the cardboard plates to slightly sink in to the surface of the inked plate.


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