Thursday, 28 February 2013

Finding my way

Isn't it funny how trying just one thing can suddenly make everything fall into place? And about time too you might say, as I am very nearly at the end of my degree course.

In the first year of the course I fell in love with collagraph printing. Creating the plates; the way the ink echoed the texture of the plate and the unpredictability of the print itself; the variations in the strength of the marks; everything.

Ever since then I have, sometimes consciously and sometimes not, been trying to replicate that effect in glass.

First I tried copying the images I had created from the collagraphs and screenprinting them onto the glass.  That worked, up to a point, but for me the screenprinting process meant that the images lost the essential sense of texture that they had as prints on paper.  They were just too definite, too clean.


Then I tried creating plaster moulds in the same way that I create collagraph plates and casting the glass in these moulds.
So far the results of this have been somewhat unpredictable. I dare say if I pursue it, eventually I will get it to work as I want, but it is a time consuming process, and also one which uses a lot of expensive glass frit.  I have also realised that to do this I will have to get used to using more robust materials to create my textures; both to stand up to the mould making process and to create definite enough marks on the glass; and I'm not sure that I want to change my materials so much.

But then the other day I had one of those 'I haven't tried that' moments and these little printed strips were the result.

They may not look much but I am very excited about them.  The print on the back of the glass was taken from one of my collagraph prints; the glass was laid on top of it in the kiln and has 'picked up' the image, but in a much more interesting and sketchy way than a direct screenprint.  There is just enough texture on the back of the glass; I can see endless possibilities in these two little strips of glass...


  1. Oh lovely! It is excited when experiments produce good results. I will look forward to seeing what else you do.

    1. Thanks Alix, I'm looking forward to it too!

  2. Very exciting! Sometimes it takes so long for ideas to mesh together into that 'ah ha!' moment. :)

    1. Thank you Tina, I wish it had been earlier... but maybe I had to go through all the false starts and wrong turnings to get here.

  3. exciting

    i love the journey :)

  4. You must be excited; it looks as if this technique will have lots of scope. Don't give too much away about your process.

    1. Don't worry, I am having great difficulty replicating it at the moment and I know how I did it... at least I thought I did...

  5. Oh my goodness! :) Love these! The lines, the textures - all so nice! :) Very pretty! Great project miss! :)


Helen Smith, artist and maker in glass, print and stitch.


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