I'm getting nervous now. About my new job. I'm supposed to be going in next week, before I officially start, to get to know the print room and have a go with the presses and things, but I'm scared! I just realised that I've been making work in the secrecy of my own room for over a year now, with no one there to see when things aren't going how I want (or when I'm having a tantrum because I did it wrong...) Really the only people who get to see those parts are you, and even then I still get to choose what I show you... So when I think of that big open print room, and the people who have employed me because they think I'm good at this sort of thing looking on as I make my mistakes, well, it makes me nervous! But I'm sure I'll be ok, this sort of thing is good for me right?!
So, I thought I better just make a start and this bird is the first thing I'm planning to print there. Its a collagraph plate, it just needs varnishing to protect it then its ready to be inked up and run through the press.
When I think of collagraphs the first thing that springs to mind is card covered with glue and scrunched up tinfoil, coils of string and a bit of someones old net curtain. I've never had much success with them (and I'm sure this is down to my own personal prejudices developed from the big thick lolloping messes I produced and then swiftly disposed off at school) but when my new boss explained the method they teach the students at LCAD I was very impressed at the results the students have achieved, the images had a range of subtle tones, not a bottle top in sight! They use a simple cardboard base and cut out thin layers with a scalpel, some areas are burnished with a bone folder or rounghed up with sandpaper. Thin layers of PVA or tippex can be used to create smoother areas or different textures of paper cut out and attached; it is all kept very flat. The whole thing is then varnished to seal it then inked up like an etching plate and printed....
I'll show you when it's done (even if it all goes horribly wrong :) )