Archive for January 1st, 2016

T1-MMT-P4 Collatype printing research wrapup

Sarah Ross-Thompson (

Sarah Ross-Thompson Beachfront

Sarah Ross-Thompson

creates amazing monoprints and collagraphs. Her miniprints particularly interest me because of the effective use of the small size ( 9 x 9 cm). Beachfront (link) and Moondreams (link) show how effective relatively limited colours and textures can be.

Sarah Ross-Thompson Interlacing

Sarah Ross-Thompson

A standout for me is Interlacing (link). Clearly a lacey knitted fabric and an open weave fabric were used. I wonder if the trees involved stripping back the top layer of board. Ross-Thompson uses glue on plates to create areas that won’t print. The colour is complex, some layered, some clear. I printed the image in its original size on glossy photo paper and continued to find it fascinating. Since first drafting this post a few weeks ago one of the edition of Interlacing has made its way from Scotland to Australia – a first for me, to act on my research.

Sarah Ross-Thompson Chroma 2

Sarah Ross-Thompson
Chroma 2

Also wonderful are Ross-Thompson’s explorations in colour in her Chroma and Chromascape monoprints. Red and green are seen in all their interatctions in Chroma 2 (link), while Chromascape 13 (link) is enlivened by textile use building energetic positive and negative space.

Sarah is generous in giving information about her techniques (and permissions – images reproduced with permission of artist). Some links:
Technique overview:
Step by step photographs and explanation of collagraph block building:
Quick and easy registration:

Textiles have been used in a number of Sarah Ross-Thompson’s prints. I’ve already mentioned Interlacing. In Beachfront the foreground fence looks like weaving, adjusted to give the right effect. Seeing these encouraged me to push further with textiles, experimenting in collatype plate 8 (30-Dec-2015) and in the banded ironstone formation prints (31-Dec-2015). I’ve just taken a quick photo of the two prints together and although they are completely different I can see the link.Interlaced and BIF

Bill Chambers has PDFs on a number of printmaking techniques on his website,, including intaglio collagraph and monotypes. He describes his Clothing series ( as “cast collagraph”, and the imagery is highly relevant to a textiles focus. Most of his prints seem to combine different printing processes, so are less relevant to my current research.

Tyrus Clutter has a video on creating a collatype print at, using layering of mountboard, carborundum and other techniques. I find his explanation of his problem-solving through a series of proofs particularly interesting.

Lynn Bailey‘s video showing collagraph preparation and printing really had me thinking about the materials and tools I had available, and what could work in my own situation.

I’ve experienced some challenges with research during this part of the course. Previously I’ve recorded and responded to research work in my sketchbook. When I was looking at prints with the purpose of making prints I found it too direct, there felt no space for interpretation for my own purposes. I could look at a painting by Monet, find lines, and make something my own (print p4-37 3-Nov-2015). In terms of bringing printmaking research into my own work, the focus has been on materials and techniques rather than a visual response.

Another challenge was simply the amount of interesting information available. Limiting the enormous field of printmaking to mono and collatypes still leaves an enormous and very active field. There is so much exciting work going on in printmaking, so many artists willing to share their images and techniques. In each research session I’ve found myself following trails and ideas, getting a broad rather than in-depth view. My material on any one artist has felt too insubstantial to post. Still, this is the end of the assignment and this blog is where I store and can later find information, so here are my scattergun notes.

Debra Luccio
Beautiful colour and line in reductive monotypes of dancers. A helpful page with shots showing the rolling and drawing processes.
In black and white, use of rolling to add extra movement to the image.

Niels Borch Jensen
Niels Borch Jensen 01:17″you get a distance in the process, you get an unpredictability”

Nicola Jerome
Nicola Jerome combining monotypes with animation to lovely effect.

Susan Carney
Susan Carney showing her process. Textured, apparently absorbent plate of sacking, cuts and inks stencils over the background which varies the texture and allows clearer imagery. I wonder if she reuses the plate, with traces of earlier colour on it.

Reff, T. The technical aspects of Degas’s art
Reff, Theodore (1971) “Degas: A Master Among Masters.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Metropolitan Museum Journal, v. 4 (1971) [online] Available from (Accessed 20-October-2015)
Reading about the unconventional, inventive, exploratory approach of Degas to materials and techniques included his use of counterproofs – putting pastel and charcoal drawings through the press onto dampened paper, in part as a means of checking and furthering a composition. ??? writes “variety of represented textures, without abandoning his principle of smooth, flat painting; and, something that was always important and that probably accounts for his predilection for pastels, monotypes, and wax sculpture, he could prolong indefinitely the process of revision, since each phase of the process was undertaken in a different medium.” (p. 150). This approach seems very relevant to my current mixed media for textiles course, including the idea of ongoing revision, of developing an idea by approaching it through different media.
Also in this paper is an interesting section on the variety of tools and combination of techniques used by Degas in his monotypes (p. 155).

Michael Mazur
Layers; attracted by his use of colour; often abstract. “Artists have to be good watchers. They have to watch their work instead of pre-planning it. ” Believed in keeping it simple, spontaneous (so not stencils), no preparatory sketches. Oral history interview with Michael Mazur, 1993 Jan. 12-1995 Feb. 3, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Vinita Voogd.
Teaches a “stacked” monotype method (account of a class taught by one of her students Interesting for registration method for plate.

Howard Jeffs
Excited that his work includes Australian landscapes, although some that particularly resonate with me (salt pans near Hyden, which I visited a few years ago and is amazing country) are painted rather than monotypes .

Simon Ripley A flowing approach developing ideas.

T1-MMT-P4 Collatype printing research
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 4: Mono and collatype printing
Research wrapup


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