For my upcoming ‘Anomalies’ exhibition, I’m intending to use a whole wall to feature a number of prints, all from one collagraph plate. I want the images on this wall to embody the anomalies theme, by showing how one of my heavily textured plates can produce a variety of print effects. The variables of hand inking, pressure from the printing press, paper soaking and the reaction of individual sheets of paper all affect the nature of the print.

As I have documented in previous posts, I accept and positively value the differences between prints taken from the same plate. The wall will be a celebration of these anomalies, and a major focus of the show. I also hope that people will like the prints enough to want to choose their own ‘personal anomaly’ to take home!

A plate for 'The Fourteen'?: mortar and pestle to grind carborundum powder

In preparation for making this plate, I needed to grind some course carborundum powder into a much finer grade (because I bought the wrong grade). Next, I mixed some of the powder with some extra heavy gel to make a fairly stiff paste.

A plate for 'The Fourteen'?: collagraph plate detail

This mixture was then dabbed and smeared around the surface, before being carved into with various plastic tools. To create the peaks and troughs, I pushed the tool into the soft mixture before pulling it away. Lastly, I was able to introduce little rivers into the surface by moving the tool edge around with small circular motions. Most importantly though, this was about trying to create an interesting, fossil-like plate that I hope will create linked images with an element of movement and dynamism.

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In the meantime, please have a look at a filmed introduction on my printmaking, shot at The Ropewalk earlier this year. You can see it on:

You Tube

Follow the story of the exhibition at: #Anomalies16

Find all my posts about Art Printworks stories on Twitter at: #artprintstories