Madeleine Szymanski demonstrated Collagraphs -2nd June,2015

“A collagraph is an artist’s hand-pulled print made from a plate or block which has been built up in slight relief with collage elements such as paper, fabric, thread, natural objects and impasto applications. Sometimes the block may have lines or areas carved into it as well. The whole plate must be sealed to make it impervious to inks and cleaning agents.demo 1 Madeleine

The oil-based ink used for printing can be rubbed into the lines and depressions (intaglio) like an etching or it can be rolled on to the surfaces (relief inking) like a woodcut, or both processes can be used together. Many collagraph plates are quite fragile and can produce only small editions. 

 I love making collagraph prints because the many stages of the process allow a great richness of interpretation. I start with drawings, then the building of the plate – choosing the collage materials and adhering them. Then the inking and printing, where various techniques and colour combinations are tested.

At each stage there is scope for my subconscious to influence decisions and hopefully lead to an image close to my original inspiration.”  

                                                            Madeleine Szymanski

 Madeleine presented a wonderful demonstration of her artistic process in the creation of her beautiful collagraphs.

Demo 2 Madeleine    Demo 3 Madeleine

Using a variety of materials including silk organza thread, fabric, dried leaves, lace, rice paper and even coffee grounds,  she created a picture by collaging with binder medium onto matt board. This created a plate which,  when sealed front and back,  was ready for inking.

Demo 4 Madeleine   Demo 7 Madeleine

Coloured etching inks were then carefully applied to her plate with a rubber wedge and, with tarlatan, then rubbed back and into the image. Areas of light are created by removing more ink and the work adjusted tonally.

Demo 8 MadeleineADemo 9 Madeleine

After dampening her paper she was able to run the work through our press.

As Madeleine demonstrated,  this technique is a non–toxic, fun and relatively simple way to produce your own prints using found items and your own drawings.

Madeleine has agreed to hold a workshop at the Coach House and anyone interested in attending should contact Helen Pain. Dates are yet to be confirmed but adding your name to the “list’ is advisable.

Demo 10 Madeleine   Demo 11

Demo 14 Madeleine   Demo 15 Madeleine

Printed collagraph picture and the plate used to print it.           

  More collagraphs may be viewed at – look for Madeleine Szymanski under “Artist Profiles

Review by Lesley Hetherington  and photos by Doreen Teasdale