Since I moved to Faversham in 2012, I’ve enjoyed two print workshops that have introduced me to collagraphs and reintroduced me to silkscreen printing.
About collagraphs • Printmaker Dawn Cole led a group of us for a four day collagraph workshop in Birchington-on-Sea. To be able to collage together printing ‘blocks’ is wonderful and has opened up a new direction for me.
It is a very free and experimental method of printmaking. The collagraph plate is a collage made by gluing a range of textured materials onto a base to form a low relief image. The printing-plate is built up rather than cut away as in lino printing. The ink can be rolled onto the surface of the plate or brushed into the indents. When printed on a press, the paper takes the impression of the textured surface as well as the inked image.
About monotypes • Made by drawing or painting on a smooth, non-absorbent surface, such as glass. The image is then transferred onto a sheet of paper by pressing the two together, usually using a printing-press. Monotypes can also be created by inking an entire surface and then, using brushes or rags, removing ink to create the image. Monotyping produces a unique print, or monotype; most of the ink is removed during the initial pressing although a second lighter ‘ghost print’ is sometimes possible.
Monoprints use some form of template in the printing such as cut-outs or natural objects.
I brushed up my screenprinting with Suki Hayes-Watkins and Karen Radford at the Print Block in Whitstable. In my days as a textile colourist I was regularly screen printing on cloth at a mill in Derbyshire but that was some time ago.