If I’m totally honest, I wasn’t looking forward to making Collatype Prints. Sometimes I feel a bit like an imposter on this Mixed Media Unit, the things I feel I should get excited about just don’t ‘do’ it for me.
I spent some time looking at the work of contemporary collatype printers, particularly Laurie Rudling and I read the book Collagraphs and Mixed Media Printmaking by Brenda Hartill and Richard Clarke¹ paying close attention to the processes of the featured artists. I found the work appealed to me much more than I thought it would. I was forced to pause and reflect on why I hadn’t expected to like this technique.
I don’t think I am alone in my reservations about Collatype as a printing method. As I researched online I found collatype devotees fiercely defending their choice of technique. The above book alludes to the fairly recent acceptability of collatype in the Art world.
I concluded, that I came to the exercise with preconceived perceptions of what to expect. Sometimes I still have to fight the voice inside that asks: ‘Why use crap off the floor, when I could draw it properly?’ I have many years of experience working in an Early Years setting, with five year olds, where we routinely play with sand, rice, glue and the like. I think I was expecting Collatypes to be similarly novice and amateurish. I certainly wasn’t expecting to discover anything new or produce anything sophisticated.
Research gave me the impetus to put my snobbery (?) to one side and approach this Project with an open mind. After all, PVA and Polyfilla are inexpensive, I had nothing to lose but was gaining the opportunity to play with textures and materials.
¹ HARTILL & CLARKE> Collagraphs and Mixed Media Printmaking (2005) BLOOMSBURY