Making a Collagraph Print by Suzie Mackenzie

By Suzie MacKenzie

Printmaker Suzie MacKenzie shares her process for making beautiful collagraph prints.

One colour variation of the completed print
Print by Suzie MacKenzie


What is collagraph?

At its most basic, a collagraph print is a print made from a printing plate consisting of collaged material. Collagraph relies for its effect on the varied textures of the materials used. More-or-less anything can be glued to the plate, as long as it will stick successfully and pass through the press without damaging it. The plates can be inked and printed in relief like a linocut, but are more usually printed in the intaglio manner, like an etching. They can also be inked first in intaglio and then in relief giving a variety of colour effects in one pass through the press. The final print usually shows a strong emboss which is characteristic of collagraph.

Collagraph is an inexpensive, safe and highly versatile printmaking technique which is used in an infinite variety of ways by different artists. This is how I make and print my own prints.

Making the plate

For the plate I use mountboard. The image, which has been reversed so the resulting print will be the correct way round, is transferred using carbon or tracing paper.

Image transferred to mountboard plate
Image transferred to mountboard plate

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