Textiles 1: Mixed media for textiles Part 4 mono and collotype printing: Recording outcomes

Recording outcomes

  • Did you find the artists influenced the direction you took? If so how did this transpire? 

I liked the abstract imagery of Brenda Harthill’s work and her use of gold and silver leaf and the detail of her textures. I did some of my collograph prints intuitively, letting the materials lead me rather than working from drawings to try and achieve this type of texture orientated feel. For example, the forest print and the trio print of flowers, rocks and sky was mainly concerned with creating as much texture as I could, applied in a semi abstract manner.

I was inspired by Henri Matisse for his monoprints of the female form and Paul Gauguin for his technique of trace monotype, which led me to doing the series of curvy ladies monotypes.

  • Discuss how the printmaking went for you. Was there anything you particularly enjoyed or anything that particularly challenged you?

I enjoyed the trace monotypes or back drawings. They were quick and simple but the quality of line and the unpredictable pickup of excess ink created really strong prints. A simple quick sketch on the back of the paper created a print that looked like it had been well planned out and executed rather than a 2 minute sketch. The challenging thing for me was remembering to reverse the image- in most cases it just didn’t happen, I am not sure why I had such a problem remembering to do it. Most prints came out ok anyway but a few would have been greatly improved by reversing the image first.

Also the collograph plates made from tetra packaging, mount board and wallpaper which I mixed and matched really excited me. The plates printed the detail so well using the intaglio method. I know that the course material asked for collaged plates and relief printing but I found my collaged plates printed nowhere near as well as using the intaglio method.

  • How well did you compose and craft your prints?

A lot of consideration went into the nude lady with text prints. Placements and knowledge of the use of stencils and masks were key to achieving the prints I wanted. Also with the mix and match loose collograph plates, composition was very important for creating a well-balanced print, in colour and structure.

  • How would you describe your use of colour?

For the test plates in both projects I stuck with black or blue, my thoughts being that detail would show up better with these darker colours. For ex 2 project 1, drawing on the printing plate, I mixed my colours to match the photos I was working from. The trace monotype curvy ladies started in blue as that was the colour ink I had left on the plate. I then switched to red as red and white were dominant colours in MMT2 wrapping and joining when I initially looked at body shaming by wrapping dolls. The red, white and black prints of the nudes with the text created strong, dynamic images. The collograph print colours were sensitive to the theme of the image, for example the stones were a mix of greys and grey blue. The beach stone print was printed with the colours of sand, rock and sea. The shore find prints were inked separately allowing for many colour choices, but, I still used colours that worked well with each other.

  • Did you come up with any ideas that you may want to develop in the future?

Yes. I can see a wall hanging maybe with panels of the different curvy girls, some positive and some negative images, using the stencils and masks. Taking this further I could use the negative prints and have negative, body shaming words on them and the positive prints could have kind, affirmative words on them. Maybe it could be double sided so one side was positive and one side negative.

I also liked the mix and match collograph plates. These could be used to create a repeating pattern for fabric maybe.

  • Do you have any ideas about how to use these printing methods in combination with the other sample making exercises in this course?

I am curious if I could collograph on fabric- whether the detail would show up enough. Also if I could collograph onto paper clay or air dry clay to create blind embossing, but I am unsure in what context this would be.

  • How did you use drawing within this part of the course?

I did not use drawing all that much. Some of the first prints from project one had interesting details that I then drew in my sketchbook, for example, the fishing net and the cross cut corrugated card. I drew from the photos I used for the drawing onto the plate exercise so that I had a template underneath the glass to follow. I also used drawing to create the 4 nudes I used for the painting on the plate exercise and the stencil exercise. For some of the exercises I preferred to work intuitively with the materials rather than working from a drawing, placing objects, papers and gels directly onto the plate and arranging them until I was satisfied with the composition. I drew freehand straight onto the back of the paper for the trace monotypes and I liked the spontaneity of the line and the little corrections showing up. In hindsight, I may have been better off drawing my ladies first so that I could then reverse the image.

  • Would you consider using printing to develop ideas in your sketchbook?

Yes, definitely. I have used lino cut prints in my ATV sketchbooks a couple of times. I also created coloured, textured pages to use for collage by using the Gelli plate to create monoprints which I then cut up.

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