New Approaches to Non-Toxic Collagraph and Relief Printmaking with Suzanne Manns

New Approaches to Non-Toxic Collagraph and Relief Printmaking with Suzanne Manns

You will need a variety of material, including scrap adhesives of all types. To start with you’ll need expanded PVC sheets, also known as Simona, and can be ordered at Regal Plastics in Houston. They will even cut the sheets to your specification. You will also need sharp tools like X-Acto knives, scissors, wire brushes, and basically anything that can make texture.

The word Collagraph is derived from the Greek word koll or kolla, meaning glue and graph, meaning the activity of drawing.

Each adhesive leaves behind different values based on its texture surface; the smoother the lighter, the rougher the darker. We used painter’s tape, masking tape, contact paper, adhesive sandpaper, rope, netting, etc. Basically anything that can leave an imprint.

Once you have assembled your plate with adhesives (the more the better) you will run it through the press to ensure all air bubbles are gone and everything sticks to the plate. Next, dab print blocking ink onto your plate, but not to much. You will rub off all the excess with paper towels (lots of paper towels).

Once all the paint is rubbed away and you can see your image clearly, it’s ready to be run through the press.  The paper you will use should be heavy and damp prior to being rolled through. If you don’t have a press try using a slab roller, which is what I use in my classroom. I adjust thickness with smooth heavy cotton and newspaper.

This is my finished non-toxic Collagraph. Once I got the hang of it I was hooked. I will definitely do this with my students.

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Suzanne Manns and her awesome assistant Dave

Suzanne’s plate had been altered from the morning session. One of the great things about this project is the ability to add layers.

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Below is the same print from earlier this morning

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Art teacher’s hard at work using X-Acto knives, scissors, sticky paint and tape.

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