Waste not Want not: Printmaking finds new beauty in basic materials

Find me a creative who doesn’t have a drawer, cupboard or box full of random bit of paper, textured pieces of interesting packaging or odds and sods that we’ve kept for one reason or another kidding ourselves that they will “come in useful for something”. I’m convinced they don’t exist. 
Thankfully, collagraph printing may just give you a reason to pull some of these items out and put them to good use.

What is a Collagraph anyway?

A great process that’s what! 😀 Unlike some other printmaking processes the act of producing a basic plate to print with is really simple and great for anyone with a love for texture (or a love of collecting scraps of things). The word itself is derived from the Greek word koll or kolla, meaning glue, and graph, meaning the activity of drawing and translates practically to an image made from sticking various materials to a rigid board (often cardboard). This textured surface is then inked up by rolling ink over the top of it or by pushing ink into all the nooks and crannies like an intaglio plate and printed. Voila! You’ve just made your first collagraph print! 
You might like to watch our technician Kate demonstrate how easy the process can be in the video below, so simple in fact that she did the whole thing from home using simple household items.

Whilst the basic process can be done simply at home, more complex and refined imagery can be produced using a press and professional printmaking inks. One course that is always popular here at WYPW is our collagraph printing taster session run by the lovely Cath Brooke .
Just before lockdown halted our plans here at the workshop we had a fab group of printers in exploring this wonderful process and getting busy with all kids of materials, experimenting and exploring what each surface might produce when inked up. See some of their work below👇

If you’d like to hear when our next collagraph workshop will be happening why not sign up to our newsletter but if you really can’t wait, practise along with Kate and have a go yourself printing at home. We’d love to see your efforts so tag us in on Instagram with the hashtag #wypw!