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Passing time…

I have been working on this collagraph print for the past week or two, learning the process as much as anything.  CATO Press in east Bristol can handle quite large print plates, this one is about 55cm in diameter and is available to buy.

Athena’s Shield
Collagraph print, 1/25, 54 x 54 cm, 2019

I think the real thing looks a bit better than this photo. Now working on another two or three collagraphs but not so big – the cost of paper can be prohibitive. This one is printed on ‘bread and butter’ paper (250 gsm) which is probably not really heavy enough for collagraph.  I had some waste having printed with the paper too damp and had peeling as a result.

We had a community print evening recently, lots of people lino-cutting, very jolly.  These are regular events at CATO Press, check us out and drop by if you are in the area, all welcome.

 

Ready to print my first large collagraph at Cato Press, if my paper ever arrives from Lawrence Art Supplies (Brighton).  Not their fault, just the delivery firm.  The only place to buy a good range of print paper in Bristol is Bower Ashton art college (University of the West of England) but they are shut for the summer.  I need a wider than average sheet for this relief print.

Athena’s Shield proof

Since making this proof I have altered the image quite a bit but  hopefully this will be the final effort.  Time to start work on the next one.  I feel at home with collagraph and I can work on the image without special equipment – just glue, knives, card and other thin material – in my studio at home.

Having spent a lot of time recently on my plywood toys and models – now on sale at Basically Wooden – I hope to give more attention to print making.

Having joined Cato Press, Bristol in April I have begun experimenting collagraph printmaking, both intaglio and relief.  I began with an ambitious piece, a 50cm circle with a variety of shaped and textures, and a number of smaller studies for this piece.

I wanted use text but cutting this by hand is tedious so I used my Cameo vinyl cutter, cutting card and vinyl.

Using a vinyl cutter for vinyl is quite simple (as the name suggests) but for paper and card requires more trial and error.

Collagraph study detail

Card can vary in density quite a lot, some paper is hard on the cutter blade due to the high chalk content.  The prints here (not great pics) are quite pale but that suits the subject.

Collagraph study, A4

There is no text on this study, just hand-cut shapes.   Something to aspire to, here is a rather more advance image by Suzie MacKenzie. 

I have enjoyed using Affinity Designer and it’s sister products Affinity Photo and the beta Affinity Publisher, but the lack of a trace function in Designer is a serious drawback.  Compared to CorelDraw (£599) or the endless cost (and irritation) of Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Designer (£50) is fantastic value for money and there are no extras or pressure to use on-line ‘services’.  So, why is it taking the developers at Serif EU such a long time to add trace?

Designer was launched almost five years ago and whilst Serif have never specifically promised to have a trace function users have always wanted it, and eventually gone elsewhere – Illustrator or CorelDraw.  Inkscape (freeware) manages a trace function but Inkscape can be clunky and it’s interface a little daunting.  The power of current computers is such that the trace function should be straightforward.  Come on Serif!

A little work to correct some errors and it is ready.

Paddle craft, self-assembly toy, 3mm laser-cut plywood, approx 20cm x 10cm.

 

 

 

 

This is the rear paddle version, which proved easier to design and seems to be well received.  On sale soon.