Monday, 10 September 2012

Textile Art crossing over to Printmaking

Such a coincidence (or is it?). Last year, ACG was holding classes for Textile and Embroidery Art and this year we were introduced to artistic Printmaking.  Today i discovered that one of the printmaking techniques called collagraphy can be used as surface design for textiles.

I received emails regularly form and their feature today is on a book called Print with Collage and Stitch by Val Holmes. It has a good description of :

What is printmaking?
"Most print techniques require the printmaker to take things away from the surface of the chosen material so the printing surface is incised rather than raised in order to create the printing plate.

The plate may then be printed intaglio :  This means that the holes or lines created in the plate will be filled with ink. This is done by applying ink and then wiping it off the main surface of the plate. During the printing process the paper “finds” the ink and reproduces the image carved into the plate. 

The plate can also be made to be printed in relief: In this case the plate will usually have the ink applied with a roller to the parts of the plate left in relief, instead of into the parts taken away. The paper is then applied to the inked plate. 

Intaglio printing is usually associated with etched metal, a process which is achieved either by taking away the surface with special tools or by a process known as aqua forte, with which the metal is first varnished, the varnish is drawn into, and this is then placed in a bath of acid or a similar substance (there are a few methods to choose from) so that the design is etched into the plate where the varnish has been  taken   away. 

The second method of relief printing is most often associated with woodblock or lino printing, in which areas of the material are gouged out, leaving a structure in relief for printing.  

In the first case, a press is essential, in the second case it is not."

Seed head
What, then is collography?
" Collography is different from the above methods because it involves adding things to the instead of taking them away. Different materials can be used to form the base structure of the plate, from cardboard to wood, plastic to old lino. 

As for what can be added, the range is almost as large and varied as the number of artists working in this medium. Classically, cut card and carborundum (an abrasive substance also known as silicon carbide) are most commonly used, but also acrylic texture mediums, sandpaper, string, threads, fabric, rice and organic materials (all of which will discussed in the book)

The resulting plate can be printed using either an intaglio method or in relief, or both at the same time, and it may be printed with or without a press."

Then Val goes on to show how the print  "can be enhanced  with the choice of embroidery to underline aspects that will lead to a greater understanding of the image. Or on the contrary, the original intention of the image can be ignored, and the printed marks related to as abstract elements to inspire something completely new. An abstract print may inspire realistic version that could be suggested or added to with embroidery."

DEFINITELY, a method worth checking out & trying out!

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