The word collagraph refers to a collage of materials glued on to a ‘printing plate’, this is usual a piece of mount or cardboard.
Laura works by firstly sketching her reversed design onto a piece of mount board. The image is then cut into the plate, and built up using a variety of materials, such as paper, seeds and plants. Laura works to a multiple plate method, which means she uses more than one plate to create a print.
The plate is then varnished with button polish. Then oil based etching inks are rubbed onto and the buffed off the plate. This process helps the inks get into all the nooks and crannies of the plate, buffing helps remove an excess ink, excess ink will bleed and ruin the print. It is then passed through an etching press under a damped piece of paper or fabric.
It can take several attempts to get the plate inked in the right way. Each print varies as it is impossible to get the ink on in the same way every time and the board its physical altered every time it goes through the press.
It is labour intensive but it what makes each one unique, they are originals not computer reproductions.