Collagraph, NZ Style

Collagraph is a print made from a textured plate.
The texture is from various materials glued to the plate.

The collagraph plate can be printed either as intaglio, emboss or relief / roll-up,
or a combination of these inking methods.

Beth Charles, I will always be there, 2011
Collagraph, 90x67cm

I generally start with a very thick cardboard, such as folio board.
I suggest you start out my making a strip of all the materials
so you can see what tone & texture they print.
Be sure not to make it too textured as it will tear or pierce the paper.
Make sure you keep a list, as sometimes it's hard to tell once they are inked up.

The smoother the surface the whiter it will print,
the coarser the texture the darker it will print.

Here are some suggestions of materials to try (not in any particular order):
gesso or modelling paint will hold brushmarks & create raised surface
draw on lines, dribbles & splatters with glue, primal, shellac or varnish
glue on sand, carburundum powder, rice or tea leaves
different grits of sandpaper gives dark even tone
torn/shredded paper or confetti for interesting shapes
bubble wrap or crumpled aluminum foil
cotton thread, string or wool are great for drawing textured lines
ribbon, lace, mesh, fabrics 
woven papyrus, kete or flax mat
 fine grasses, foliage, leaf skeletons
textured wallpaper, exposed corrugated board
low-profile found objects such as paper clips, etc

Rebecca Thomson, Blocks
Collagraph, 19x19cm

Iris Steensma, Zenobia 2
Collagraph, 15x12cm

Susan Hurrell Fields

Ruby Oakley, Forest Flowers, 2011

Barbara Graham, Endangered Species, 2009
Collagraph, 56 x 76cm, edition of 20

Barbara Graham, Landfill,  2011
Collagraph, 56 x 76cm, edition of 20

Steev Peyroux, Wrap Around
Collagraph and pencil

It doesn't require any fancy equipment, though a press makes it easier to print,
you can use the back or a spoon on the reverse of the paper to take the impression!
You can make collagraphs with textures you can find around home,
so why not make a few collagraph plates to print next time you're in the studio.
It's lots of fun!


Susanne said…
I also create collagraphs, not in NZ but Canada, however I am a NZer. You can see my work at

I was just checking out printmaking on the web and came across this page. I love seeing other artists work.