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Collagraph Printmaking Still Life from Mat Board

I stayed at The Old Mill Inn – a Bed & Breakfast in Hatfield, Massachusetts a few years ago to attend a wedding. The Mill and the landscape around it is rich with painting and drawing inspiration, so I snapped reference photos as often as I blinked.  

This little sink was in my room. I loved the nostalgia of the lace curtain, the light bouncing off the bowl of the sink and the mirror (see the reference photo below). I thought it would make a sweet little collagraph print. It reminded me of staying with my grandparents as a kid. They lived in a rambling old colonial house with creaking wide plank floors, stone fireplaces and 1940’s era fixtures.

If the walls could tell stories of the past 100 years in these places, I’d make tea, find a comfy chair, and listen closely.

Making the Collagraph Print

carving the uppermost surface away from a piece of mat board to make a collagraph print
Adding carborundum grit to a collagraph print to increase contrast and keep ink in place
Wiping a collagraph plate intaglio style, using the a la poupee method  for a full color print
a still life reference image of a sink
The reference photo for this collagraph print
printing-a-collagraph on a Takach etching press
Pulling the collagraph print on my etching press – Sink at the Old Mill
Collagraph print being pulled from the plate after a trip through an etching press
Pulling the collagraph print after a spin through the press

An Edition of Five

collagraph-prints of a still life in a small edition of 5
A small edition of five collagraph prints from a mat board plate
small-collagraph-print of a sink printed in full color
Sink at the Mill matted & framed (see it here)

A Tutorial Video of the Process

Watch the video tutorial for this process below, and subscribe to my YouTube channel to get notified when new videos are posted so you can follow along and hopefully make one of these collagraphs yourself!

Here is a quick step-by-step video recorded in my studio while making this mat board collagraph print using the a la poupee inking method

Making Up My Mind

Indecision affects my studio time. Especially when I juggle between painting watercolor and printmaking.

I love both art-making methods. A lot. Even if I settle on which media to work in, I wrestle again with choosing a subject.

As I demonstrated above, I can’t walk past a sink without thinking “Heyyyy, THAT could be a fun painting or print!” My photo catalog of art references is bulging at 30,000 images.

I read this list of ten ways to combat indecision, and thought it was helpful. Sometimes another person’s shared road map is all the boost we need to find a path out of dark woods.  I’m using number eight and number ten off that list today. What about you?

Have a decisively artful day, and I’ll see you in the next post,


P.S. If you’re new here, you can Click here to subscribe to this blog so each new post will be sent to you via email.

Sink at the Old Mill Inn 6.5 x 4.5 Collagraph with Colored Pencil (Available here)

Art Quote

If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.

~Steven Pressfield
Visit this free online mini course – Six Tips to Paint More

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4 thoughts on “Collagraph Printmaking – a Still Life of a Sink”

  1. You are so generous and thoughtful to share your creativity and methods in this way. I have been experimenting with adding a little carborundum to a collagraph backing plate for my dry point etchings. I really love the effect. Thanks again! Cheryl x

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      Thanks for this sweet note, and hearty congratulations on your *beautiful* collagraph & drypoint! I love the subject, the color scheme, and the background texture. If you have it posted on your blog, please share a link here so other folks can see it too. Bravo!

  2. You are so generous to go through the making and filming and explaining this process. I’m going to try this for certain! The work is so beautiful! That sink must have been a challenge. It looks (in the photo) like an oyster shell, all “pearly”! I’m still hoping to meet you some day. All the best!

    1. Hi Jerry! Thanks so much for the visit, and the compliment. I would love to meet you some day. I’ll let you know when we’re in Scottdale – we go there often. Share your collagraph so we can oooh and ahh, because like all of your work, it’ll be fantastic! xo

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