RESEARCH: Claire Nash
Of all the Contemporary Printmakers featured in the book: Collagraphs and Mixed Media Printmaking,¹ Claire Nash was the artist who appealed to me most.
Nash’s Collagraph prints are bold abstractions of colour and texture. She says her process is: “instinctive, spontaneous and impulsive” ² and she clearly has a healthy level of curiosity about the textures around her, using all manner of materials. I thought this approach was a good example of the way my tutor has been encouraging me to work.
I found I agreed with Nash on one specific element of the process, she prefers not to seal her plates before printing: “I don’t want the feel of the materials to be lost, or even dampened down.” I had had very similar thoughts about this, I couldn’t understand collecting all the textures to construct the plate and then nullifying them by applying a uniform coat of the same material. Hence I tried to avoid doing this.
Another useful tip I picked up from Nash was to paint an + shape edge to edge on the back of the plate before fully coating the front. This prepares the plate for the wetness of the materials used to construct it and prevents the curling I experienced in 4.2.2.
I admired Nash’s work but even more so her process. She inspired me to think of the final print as yet another stage in making: “I’m really interested in pushing the boundaries of the defined print.” She will sometimes use a print as Chine Colle applying it to another surface and I found a tantalising reference to casting a collagraph plate.
I went into 4.2.3, considering this statement by Nash: “Printmaking is about making works of art and shouldn’t be precious.”
On a more practical level, as I researched Collatypes on the internet I discovered some really useful technical information. It transpired that it had been written by an OCA Printmaking student, I wonder why it hadn’t occurred to me to cross disciplines seek out their wisdom before?!
¹HARTILL & CLARKE. Collagraphs and Mixed Media Printmaking. (2004) BLOOMSBURY
² Same publication, Page 85.