hot off the press…

Printing collagraph with Chine Colle. Mari French 2014

Printing collagraph with Chine Colle. Mari French 2014


I recently moved the printmaking side of my art business to a new venture in my home village of Harpley, Norfolk. Norfolk Design Gallery is where glass artist Fi Kilpatrick, architect Lara Hall and myself work at our respective crafts and display and sell our own work and that of other makers and artists. 

I’ll still be painting from my lovely rustic studio but printmaking at the new place a couple of days a week. I’ve been getting set up the past few weeks but have been creating and printing collagraphs the past week. 

I’ve just tried out the technique of Chine Colle, which is where thin piece/s of coloured paper, such as Japanese handmade papers, are placed onto the inked-up plate with the addition of a little dilute paste and run through the etching press. The paper then becomes laminated to the printing paper with the inked image over the top. It can add an interesting dimension to a print. 

My first results you can see here. I’ve used a lovely buff coloured Lokta paper, which has small flecks of natural materials in it, for the chine colle. This was also the first time I’d used shellac varnish (also known as Button varnish) in thin coats to seal the plate before inking, instead of the water based DIY varnish I usually use, as I’d read it can allow more of the texture to be retained.

This particular image is based on sketches I produced on my recent art residency at Brison’s Veor, Cape Cornwall.



Collagraph with Chine Colle. Mari French 2014

Collagraph with Chine Colle. Mari French 2014

A couple of other collagraph plates, below, that I’ve recently been working on… I prefer the actual plates to the results sometimes!

Collagraph plates. Mari French 2014

Collagraph plates. Mari French 2014


Beyond the Surface …

this is my next art exhibition… Beyond the Surface, which will be held at Greyfriars Art Space in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, UK, from 21 September to 5 October 2013.

It will include a range of recent abstracted mixed media paintings, influenced by landscape, coast and ancient buildings. A selection of collagraph prints and art cards will also be for sale.

The preview will be held on Friday 20 September, 6 to 8pm, you would be very welcome.

Beyond the Surface, art exhibition, King's Lynn.

Beyond the Surface, art exhibition, King’s Lynn.

impressions of Venice …


I’ve been busy creating and printing a few more collagraphs this week, in preparation for my forthcoming solo exhibition ‘Beyond the Surface’ in King’s Lynn, Norfolk. Most of the new ones are small and I’ve used a variety of ink colours (Hawthorn Inks).

The plan is to sell the collagraph prints at the show, (which will be a variety of abstracted mixed media paintings), simply wrapped at a reasonable price, so there will be something to suit all pockets.

The recent small collagraphs here were influenced by the crumbling facades of buildings I came across in Venice earlier this year. I used scraps of wallpaper, sandpaper, string, muslin and a lovely piece of narrow lace ribbon I picked up at a recent vintage fair, which seems to lend itself well to the suggestion of fine architectural decoration. It also adds to the fun of browsing vintage fairs and the like, looking for textured materials to use.

By the way, I’m sure I’m not the only one to find the used, cleaned plate as interesting in its own right?

Untitled Collagraph, Mari French 2013

Untitled Collagraph, Mari French 2013

Untitled Collagraph, Mari French 2013

Untitled Collagraph, Mari French 2013

Collagraph plate

Collagraph plate, Mari French



The printmaking corner of my studio