On Sunday I attended another printmaking day at Sherwood Printmakers.
I wanted to try out Chine Collé. But this turned out to be not so successful – I wanted to use large swathes of colour and the sheets of paper were too large to adhere to the base paper and stuck to the plates instead. I later used some smaller bits of paper either stuck to the top of the print (i.e. adhering after the pass over the plate) or on the plate as per the technique (which worked).
After this initial failure though, I spent the afternoon playing with layering of colours, making plates from textured card and ripping paper to create ‘resist’ sections. It was also interesting to note how paler colours often obliterate colours underneath because they contain white and therefore become opaque.
I really like the addition of the small areas of colour and may later choose to do these in paint – or even gold leaf.
I found the whole process very satisfying (although frustrating initially) and was such an excellent lesson in ‘letting go’ and allowing the work to evolve as the material dictates. The meeting of colours and how they overlap is fascinating – what shows through, what is obliterated and how the colours react and interact with each other gives some unique effects.
In many respects, this work focused on letting the colours do the work. The unpredictability of the technique means the only certainty is that the colour on the plate will appear somewhere on the sheet – not how much, where or how intensely. But this is what makes the work interesting. This unpredictable interaction and layering makes the work interesting to get lost in, creates depth and intrigue. The unique element of each piece is also indicative of mood – both in the created outcome and the marks, motions and force used to transfer the colour from the plate by my hand. I also prefer those where the registration is not perfect at the edges.
I intend to experiment further with this over the weekend – looking at colour overlap, solid colour layers and pressure of transfer.
PS: one thing to remember about the use of tissue paper is that it often bleeds colour and it’s colour stability and duration cannot be guaranteed for any period of time unless specific paper is used (often Japanese papers rather than tissue).