Making Stars

by maggie

New term, new opportunities in the print studio. After last years buzzing around chasing butterflies, I would like to settle down and produce something a little more coherent. Last year was a good foundation, but now I would like to go back and pick up some of my dropped stitches and see where they take me.

Enough mixed metaphors. Andiamo!

Prior to the first class i prepared some new collagraphs. I needed to do some tests, so I could see if textures that had caught my eye since the spring would be workable before I built a generously sized plate to make a map from.

I used a ‘soft black’ ink to print off these plates in class. The soft black is very weak, it’s easy to work into a deeply wrinkled plate and it’s easy to wipe off. Some plates i’ve inked with the shop velvet in the past have been stupidly dark. I used the soft black for some of last years star charts. [I really need to find vol 1 ‘studio day notes’ among my clutter so I can check if a actually wrote down which ink i used when.]

So self directed study for this term is to produces some cohesive ‘Maps of hyper-space’ and learn more about how printing inks work.


16-3 some times when you unpack ikea stuff you get lumps of cardboard filling the gaps. well this is a way to reuse the stuff. on the right are the outsides of medium size honeycomb board. on the left, a bit of a disaster, the end grain of multi-layer corrugated card – better knife, better glue, better planning, better luck next time.


16-1 so this one is a little minimalist. it’s the opposite of printing a bit of inky scrim – a very open textile glued down on a board. careful wiping takes all the ink of the surface (and the threads) and leaves the ink in the square between.



16-5the background here is goldenrod’s pumic with a cut out, stickers and bits of cup applied over the top. these are white because they are smooth, although in close up you can see evidence of the texture behind them


16-1 the plate for this image is made up from the sleeves of of take-away coffee cups. they’ve been cut up and arranged on the board and the corrugations carefully squashed in varying dimension. apart from using a toothbrush to make sure the ink got into the deepest crevasses i didn’t add much ink to the plate and then whipped it with tissue to make sure all the mountains were clean.

Checking back over my posts i though i had published more examples of my investigations last spring but perhaps not – an error I shall remedy


16-7 more pumice medium with various tapes stuck over the top. from left: masking, plumbers, gaffer and wash. the dark stipe on


16-6 this is a golden ‘coarse media’ with incised lines, plumbers tape and mat tape. the falling function is added pva, before the varnish. the variations in tone were created with more or less applications of ink


16-4 glass bead medium overlaid with stickers and tape. the glass beads emboss the paper where the large sticker has acted as a mask. I was concerned that this print would come out very black so I was perhaps too though in my wiping.

16-1 & 3 approx 280 x 180 all other plates 250 x 150

next time a stiffer ink? or colour