Sampler: a piece of cloth embroidered with various stitches, serving to show a beginner’s skill in needlework.
After a dry summer, we’ve had a lot of rain in recent weeks. As I have recently received an order of bulbs, every sunny break finds me out in the garden, wearing sturdy gloves and rubber boots. By the end of each bulb-planting session, the gloves look like they should be throw out and the boots are half an inch off the ground with all the muck they’ve accumulated. My reward will come in the spring, when snowdrops, daffodils, irises and tulips flower freely in my garden.
I’ve just been introduced to a printmaking process (or perhaps it’s actually two processes): collagraph and embossing. This gives me plenty to do when rain keeps me inside.
The word “collagraph” comes from the French colle, meaning to stick or glue. There certainly was quite a bit of gluing involved.
Embossing and debossing are the processes of creating either raised or recessed relief images and designs in paper and other materials. An embossed pattern is raised against the background, while a debossed pattern is sunken into the surface of the material (but might protrude somewhat on the reverse, back side).
–Wikipedia.org, “Paper embossing”
My first collagraphs were disappointing, mostly because I didn’t really understand what the final prints were going to look like. I decided that I needed to produce a “sampler”, incorporating most of the various techniques I’d been taught, along the lines of a beginner’s embroidery sampler. Having done this, I have a better understanding of the possibilities of these techniques and what kinds of designs might show them to best advantage.