|Drawings of carp|
|Creating different carp plates for collograph|
After a holiday in Portugal where there was a beautiful carp pond at the place we stayed, I felt inspired to make a print of carp. I decided to create a collograph, as I wanted to capture the watery gloom of the pond and the fish swimming through these murky waters. I started off by drawing carp in different poses to capture the amazing shapes they make. I then made up plates of carp, using sheets of card, onto which I stuck pieces of bags that satsumas come in, and corrugated card.
|Carp stuck onto foil covered mount card|
|Detail of collograph plate|
|Collograph plate inked in grey ink|
I then started to ink the plate. I used quite a loose (oil based) ink in grey to begin with. I forced this into all the areas of the plate with an old paintbrush. I wiped off the excess grey.
|Collograph plate inked up in orange and blue|
Using a roller, I rolled a bright orange ink onto the fish so that some of the detail of the fish was highlighted. I rubbed a blue ink onto the rest of the plate using a cloth.
|Inked collograph plate on press|
I put the inked plate through my press. I have a relief press rather than an etching press, which is not ideal. However, I still manage to get effective results by soaking thick heritage paper and then blotting it dry. I also experiment to get the optimum degree of packing.
|Orange and blue ink on collograph|
|Orange and green ink on collograph|
Here you can see three different versions of the inked up plate. It's really good fun trying different combinations of colours.
|Deep pink and blue ink on collograph|
|The final collograph print ink pink and green|
However, collograph prints do not come alive fully until you have coloured the background using a wash of water based inks. Here you can see my final print. The collograph was inked up using pink on the fish and a blue background - I then used a wash of light pink on the fish and green on the water.
|Fabric available from Spoonflower|
I used the print to create a fabric - if you like it, you can buy it from Spoonflower here.