Oh dear…Blogger is “experiencing difficulties” again. I had a link to the final photo in the “Work versus Play” post, but it’s not showing. It was perfectly OK when I did it,but I came back to fix a typo and poof! it’s gone. You’ll just have to get that little Spanish chap to do it for you… or try this

Yes, I did hear you clamouring for some work-in-progress pictures. And, working on the principle that art-hungry readers may be as dangerous as starving dogs…

This is a collograph I made for the purpose.

I cut images from sheets of cartridge paper ( craft paper or poster card or what Americans call construction paper is probably better as it’s less flimsy.) and glued them to a piece of mdf. OK, that’s shorthand for medium density fibreboard. You can use mat board or a good, stiff cardboard. Sometimes I use PVA glue, but in this case I’ve chosen to go with a binder medium. You arty folk will know what that is; for other readers – it’s a polymer. Any gardeners out there who spray “Envy” on their precious shrubs ahead of frosts? Well, same stuff! It’s easy to apply with a brush (don’t, for Pete’s sake, use your $95 sables for this.Get the oldest, cheapest brush you can find and ditch it when you’ve finished.) and is water clean-up.Yeah, right! You’ll be peeling bits off your fingers for hours!

Continuing to add images to the “plate.” Those dark, wiggly lines are bits of unravelled twine.I thought they’d add a little interest to the furrows in the ploughed field.But they were “messy” so I peeled them off!
The inked-up plate on the right with the first print on the left after the first run through the press.
Sorry, no photos of the inking process. I am a disgustingly grubby printmaker and it’s a new and expensive camera! But, as you are probably busting to know… for this print, I applied most of the ink with my fingers. What sort of ink? Well, sometimes I use etching ink,but these are colours mixed from left-over printing ink generously “donated” by our local newspaper. (I climbed into the big garbage skip and “acquired” some buckets that still had some ink in the bottom! ) The trick is not to have the ink too thick on the plate or it will ooze into a muddy sludge under pressure. So…I wiped it back with a piece of Tarlaton (like scrim), then “polished” it with pieces torn from a ‘phone book and used flat, not crumpled, as at this stage I needed to be careful not to take off too much colour. Small areas can be wiped with a Q tip.
Ooh! Nearly forgot…because this plate is quite thick, we used “runners” to guide it under the press. The runners were strips of corrugated cardboard, about 2″ wide, 10″ long, laid alongside the plate ‘fore and aft. Why? Well, the plate being that much thicker than the printing paper, the press roller would have bumped on and off with a helluva jolt and would probably have skewed the whole thing sideways, resulting in a smudged print. Might even have caused the edge of the paper to buckle or tear. And might have caused the printmaker to swear!
Not a masterpiece, but I hope I’ve explained the process without sending you all to sleep.
Looking at this again, I’m tempted to ink-up by rolling black ink over the plate, then adding colour (after it’s dried) with pencil. Just another way we can approach it…
Now, some of you wanted to know more about that print (link at top of post), which is an etching, done several years ago in a class. Sadly, I can’t show you any of this process as I do not have facilities for mucking about with dangerous stuff like nitric acid, which is what I used to etch the image into this zinc plate.
But maybe I’ll write a post, some day, on dry-point…now toddle off and have the beverage of your choice.
Post Script…Victor McCay, a far better printmaker than I has an excellent explanation at

10 thoughts on “SHOW-AND-TELL

  1. I think a tall, cool one is definitely in order after that demo. I do love humour and warts-and-all with my instruction so thanks, Dinah.


  2. wow! that’s so great and funny too – I would love to have a go! It looks fantastic and I never knew you were supposed to spray your shrubs with glue either! Good job I only do weeds.


  3. that was veeeeeeeeeeery innnnnteresting. in fact i am thinking away about a mile a minute now about things to make and do….

    i love this kind of stuff! thank you for the look at your art!


  4. Great post 🙂 I really like printmaking and the unexpected ‘accidents’.

    also …. a group of bloggers have started a fun thing of ‘tagging’ – consider yourself tagged!

    See my blog of today to see how it works

    if you feel like joining in you just list 7 blogs you think are interesting and 7 facts about yourself on your blog, giving a link back to me and the links to the 7 blogs chosen.

    It’s a great way of finding interesting blogs and expanding the readership of your blog 🙂

    I realise for an idle woman you are incredibly busy! from a fellow busy idle woman, I hope you can find time to take part?


  5. Hi again dinahmow. I could bear to be ‘tagged’, especially if I didn’t have to actually answer until later next week (after this next deadline). Feel free if that works for you.


  6. This is a cool post. Thanks for the process photos and explaination. I have not yet fallen in love with printing but maybe this is a good thing for my wallet at the moment!


  7. beautiful!!!




    (I used to print with string – byt sticking the string down in the pattern I wanted and then rollering it with paint really carefully, so as not to get the board I’d stuck it to painty)(will let you know when I do the lino-cuts!)


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