Colography is a fun type of monoprinting and a nice intro to printmaking. I conducted a workshop on Monday for the Palo Alto Libraries teen summer program. Here are some of the results. This is good project for all ages. Tip: remind students that if they include words they must be created backwards as the print will be a mirror image of the printing plate.
Below: Printing plate being inked:
Above Printing plate and print.
If you want to try it you will need:
- glass plates with edges taped up (you can get scrap glass from a glass shop)
- water based printing ink
- rollers for inking and for pressing
- paper for printing (I use Japanese calligraphy paper...cheap from Daiso)
- card stock such as cereal boxes (to cut and glue down)
- matt boards. These are the printing plates (You can get free from framing shops, just ask for scraps)
- white glue
- hot melt gun (to attach lace and other objects)
- toothpicks (good for creating raised lines)
- paper towels to lay plates on
- small container of water (you may need to add drops of water to plates of glass if ink gets too thick)
Step Two: Attach other elements such as lace and buttons. Attach these using a hot melt gun.
Step Three: Squeeze some ink onto the glass (one color per glass plate). Using a roller spread the ink out so that you have an even layer on the roller. Roll over the printing plate. You can also use a brush to apply the paint to the printing plate.
Step Four: Take a sheet of paper and place it over the inked printing plate. Roll over the paper with a clean roller or use your fingers to lightly but firmly press down on the paper to transfer the ink.
Step Five: Peel off sheet slowing and place it wet side up on a drying rack.
Below: This print was created with quick sweeps of an inked roller to the printing plate. I love the texture! It reminds me of old barns from my childhood memories of Ohio and Kentucky. This piece was created by one of the few boys in the class. The original sketch had a maze like pattern in it. I suggested that he add bits of toothpicks to create that pattern if he wanted it to be visible in the print. Instead he decided to brush on the ink and do a print. I am so glad that he did. It is a great piece.
Below: This print was created by drawing patterns with the hot melt gun on the printing plate. A diagonal line was created from toothpicks. The student applied different colors to the printing plate before pulling her print. The result is really beautiful and I hope it was framed and displayed. The diagonal line anchors the busy swirls of the hot melt lines. The two dots in opposite corners also add balancing elements. There is tension and balance in this piece.
Below: City scape of New York City. I think this teen was Russian. I like how the simple addition of lace on the printing plate resulted in the allusion of clouds above the buildings. It took a lot of patience to create all those windows and then glue them onto the buildings on the printing plate. I enjoy how the windows are staggered on the buildings in the foreground while the windows are arranged in an orderly grid on the back building to the right. This contrast makes me think the windows on the two building in the foreground are dancing or conversion with each other.