pressing on …

I finally started using my own tabletop press yesterday in my studio, to produce the first of what I hope will be a series of collagraph prints. As regular readers will know I recently attended one of Laurie Rudling’s excellent workshops, so it was good to be able to put the experience into practice.

My aim is to sell the successful prints at my exhibitions, starting with ‘Beyond the Surface’ in King’s Lynn in September, giving visitors who like my work the opportunity to purchase an original piece at a price most people can afford.

Inking up

In the inking up photo above, you can see I’d been trying out a burnt sienna ink, but didn’t like the results (see bottom photo).

Below is the preferred result, a diptych abstract plate inked up in cerulean blue with a raw umber ‘rub’ over it. The wide angle camera lens unfortunately gives it a wonky look! The original print is actually quite square. 

Untitled collagraph, Mari French 2013

Untitled collagraph, Mari French 2013

Something I think many people (including many artists) are unaware of, is that the inked up collagraph plate usually gives only one print, plus perhaps a ‘ghost print’ – a second print usually quite a bit fainter than the first, but often of interest in itself. This means that each collagraph print has a unique quality; it may be from the same plate but each is different due to the individual inking process involved.

collagraph plate inked in Burnt Sienna

collagraph plate inked in Burnt Sienna


4 thoughts on “pressing on …

    • Thanks Ruth. It’s a Hunter Penrose tabletop etching press. I got it secondhand a couple of years ago and have bee waiting till I had somewhere suitable to use it.

  1. Interesting to see this work in progress, Mari. I must say I usually get an edition out of my collagraph plates, but it is sometimes an ‘edition variable’ with slight differences between the prints. These look quite lovely, and closely related to your paintings.

    • Thank you Anthea. It did occur to me as I typed that bit about editions (or lack of) that it could be due to my inexperience!
      I was just aware that the initial inking I’d been shown doesn’t seem to allow for more than a couple of prints. Do you yourself get more out of one inking or do you quickly ink up in between and is it then still classed as an edition?

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