I felt that I could have continued with the landscape Collatypes. Plate 3 seemed to be so much better than Plate 2 that it might have been worth persevering but I was reluctant. Making notes in my sketchbook helped me identify that I probably already knew what the outcome would be and I wanted to use this opportunity to try something different.
I returned to the Sunflowers that I had dedicated so much time to in the beginning. They were beginning to fade away as Autumn approached. I took time out to ‘Preserve the Transient’ (an idea that just won’t go away) by encapsulating a print from 4.1.2 in resin.
Since the print was made on lightweight muslin, the flowers appear to almost float, suspended eternally in their moment of glory. I decided that such a special moment deserved the type of reverential wrapping I had seen in ‘How to Wrap Five Eggs’ ¹ which was recommended by my tutor earlier in the course. (I finally got hold of an affordable copy)
My interests lay in pattern making and repeated elements, I decided to create a paper to wrap the resin sample in. Since I don’t have access to a press I believe my prints will always be inferior, so chose to adapt the technique of Collatype to produce a printing block rather than a plate. A simplified motif was developed in my sketchbook, I chose materials I knew from sampling would print well (pipe cleaner and foam) the complexity of the overall print would come from repetition.
Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph this stage, all that remains is the block and the registration paper! I printed the block in a half drop formation without turning it, the last minute addition of a third flower meant the motifs linked together well creating interesting negative space between them.
I chose Abaca tissue as a substrate for many reasons, not least because it built on my Claire Nash research: I intended to use the pattern paper as Chine Colle, applying it to another layer. I knew from my collage work at the end of Project 1 that ModPodge would allow the layers to become translucent, revealing and yet concealing what was hidden within. (Another idea that won’t go away!)
To print the subsequent layers, I made a latex copy of a Sunflower leaf. At the time I had little idea why I did this. Why didn’t I just print with the leaf itself? I still don’t have an answer for this! Curiosity got the better of me I think! I learned that a latex copy makes an effective printing plate, which opens new avenues of exploration.
The final paper has three layers, the tissue became translucent enough to view the layers below but remained stubbornly opaque in the unprinted areas. I think it works as a wrapping for my sample and demonstrates my curiosity and lateral thinking skills.
The photograph below shows the parcel all wrapped up. I purposely put the white layer facing outward to challenge the notion of ‘pretty’. This delays the viewing of the final Collatype print until the package has been opened. The physical act of unwrapping will be rewarded with both the print and the resin sample.
¹OKA, H. How to Wrap Five Eggs (2008ed) SHAMBHALA PUBLICATIONS