Nina's Textile Trail 2

– Textiles 1: Mixed Media for Textiles


Assignment 4 – Mono & Collatype Printing – Formative Feedback – Reflection

As previously, I enjoyed and found my formative feedback via video useful as I approach assignment 5.   We discussed the work submitted for assignment 4 in general, with Rebecca pointing out the stronger and weaker areas and providing lots of positive comments.

I was reassured that I am doing enough drawing for the course, that it is improving and was encouraged to keep up the practice, perhaps join a life class and ignore any negative voices in my head.

My next step is to expand the critical thinking and reflection of my own work using the same process that I apply to researching other artists.  When reviewing parts 1-4 to determine what to develop during part 5, I will endeavour to be analytical, step back and look at everything dispassionately to decide the best ideas to take forward.

Rebecca also suggested I make a plan, be strict and work to a deadline.


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Assignment 4 – Mono and Collatype Printing – Formative Feedback

Formative feedback via video 5/10/16

Key points

This is a well-organised assignment with a large range of well-executed prints. There is detailed investigation of methods, techniques, placement and colour palettes leading to the production of some considered and pleasing outcomes. I suggest your next step is to review the whole course before making any decisions about assignment five. Write this up in your learning log, being explicit about your decision-making and how you plan to develop the work in the next part of the course.

Summary of tutorial discussion

In this assignment you have investigated a wide range of other art works and used what you have learnt well in your own creativity. The analysis of the research material is of a high standard as you pick apart the work you look at.

Your drawing skills continue to develop, well done for keeping on top of this and continuing to practice. I suggest you push your self to draw regularly perhaps joining a life drawing class and try to ignore your negative thoughts.

I suggest the area that needs most development is your critical and reflective thinking skills – this is where you are studying your own results and make judgments. Try to look at your own work in the same way as you study the work of others. In your reflective writing evidence how you demonstrate visual awareness, design and compositional skills for example. Explain in your learning log how you used discernment to make your choices and develop the work. It is evident you are doing this in practice the next step is to include it in your writing.


Tutor name Rebecca Fairley
Date 5th October 2016
Next assignment due 5th December 2016

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The Padstow Mussel Co. – Gyotaku by Susie Ray

Some of my OCA peers brought this artist to my attention.  A tutorial was also repeated on BBC2’s Countryfile on 18th September, 2016.  I love the mottled quality of the prints, the added texture of the cloth used for printing and the blue black ink.  I believe the prints on cloth are then scanned and printed on paper.  Delightful. (accessed 19/9/16)

Cornish Fish Rubbing Pictures – Gyotaku

Cornish Fish Rubbing Pictures – Gyotaku by Susie Ray. A stunning range of beautiful prints from the original artwork. Gyotaku is a 18th/19th century technique used by Japanese Fishermen to visually record new species of fish they would catch.

The original method was to use edible ink and rice paper, Susie looking to create a more precise finish uses oil paints and cotton cloth, on locally caught Cornish fish from Padstow to Newlyn. The texture of the cloth gives each image a wonderful depth and really makes the ‘Fish’ stand out.  (accessed 19/9/16)

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MMT 4 – Stage 4 – Reflection

Building on my printing  skills has been a stimulating experience resulting in a better understanding of materials and improved quality of outcome.

I have explored a variety of items for printing and made great advances in the use of oil based inks, printing presses, the application, mixing and burnishing of inks.

Demonstration of technical and visual skills

Lots of samples and careful observation has resulted in good technical skills in mono and collatype printing with oil based inks and a printing press.  An understanding of the effects of different papers used both damp and dry has also been gained.   A variety of materials have been used effectively throughout the exercises.  Visual awareness, design and compositional skills have been demonstrated.

Quality of outcome

This has been a thorough exploration into mono and collatype printing, backed with research of artists and their work, craft books, online videos and attendance at practical workshops and a local print studio. Throughout the learning process, adjustments to technique have been made to build on the knowledge gained.  I have been discerning in my choices, presentation of work, conceptualisation of thoughts and communication of ideas.

Demonstration of Creativity

There is evidence of experimentation and risk taking and some development of personal voice.


Coursework has been based on a variety of research and developed with considered self-reflection and critical thinking.


Printing encourages me to be more playful and inventive and improved skills and knowledge will definitely inform my practice and form part of my sketchbook development.

The most exciting area for further progression is the use of stitch combined with other materials to add to collatype plates.


Referring back to my formative feedback for Assignment 3 and relating it to this assignment


Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

I think I have continued to be adventurous and pushed myself.


Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

I am disappointed not to have drawn more outside the minimum required for the printing exercises.

Acutely aware that drawing is a vital component of this course and my progress as an artist, not just to deepen understanding of my work and that of others, but to develop visual skills and original work, I feel I have reached a point where my mental block around drawing will hamper my progress if I don’t find a way to make it a habit.  In a workshop/classroom situation I can force myself, albeit tentatively, but alone as a distance learner, the motivation to draw eludes me.


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

As much of the research this time was into the process of printing, I think my analytical skills into the work of others are probably on a level with the last assignment but that the extended research into areas I choose to develop in part 5 will enable me to develop them further.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

I have attempted to add reflection about my prints and made links to my own work and research material.

I would like my feedback for this assignment by video please.

AIMS for Part 5

To find a local group or class to draw with to develop my confidence and skills.

To be adventurous and thorough in developing ideas to reach an informed and creative final piece.





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MMT 4 – Stage 4 – Sorting

During the exercises, I thoroughly explored the processes and gained valuable experience with printing inks, papers and using two different presses.  These techniques will all help with developing ideas in future.

Printing on tissue or fine hand made paper, with the following colour palette, gives a lovely aged feel to the prints and the qualities produced by spraying the inked plate with a solvent such as white spirit or brush thinners are very appealing and be useful to know.




Mark-making onto an acrylic, acetate or gelli plate to create a print combined with back drawing is useful technique which I would expect to use again. The loose, slightly quirky nature is very appealing.


The combination of lightweight paper, solvent splashes on the ink and the intricate detail of the grass highlights the potential for using printing as a means to develop ideas with plant materials. I love the gossamer like effect of printing fine detail with dilute inks on tissue.


The round print blocks were very effective and I’m keen to develop this form.  With a love of visual and actual texture, collagraph has great potential for me, from acrylic media, embedded plant material, stitch, fabric and found items.  The 3d effect, mixed colours, embossed and visual texture are visually exciting.


The simple glued circles sprinkled with carborundum are very effective in similar tones, with uneven character and a lovely deep, matt blue contrasting with the gently burnished background.


The quality and velvety finish to the paint is somehow rich and tactile in the following ribbon and lace print, I think its the cloudy, mottled look of the paint that is attractive to me rather than the plate, although the clarity and contrast of texture in a linear arrangement is effective.


The emphasis of the three-dimensional nature of the print is enhanced by the use of primary colour rubs in the following polyfilla plate. I am keen to continue building skills in the application and mixing of inks on the collagraph blocks.


I am very excited at the potential for using stitch with various materials to produce original designs for print from my own drawings as experienced below with thermogauze stabiliser and free machine stitch.

Continuing on the theme of developing ideas with stitch, the print from stitched acetate suggests great potential with firm grounds that can be punctured


and more flexible grounds that can be stitched or collaged as with the Tyvek below.  This too is inspiration to work on subtle colour rubs.


The following is a favourite for the range of value and a reminder to explore different methods to achieve this.



MMT 4 – Monoprinting – Exercise 4 Working with stencils

MMT4 Workbook 1 pages 66-91

Working at Ochre Print Studio, torn paper strips were used as masks using Hawthorn stay open inks and floor press. Circles were then painted onto a clean plate using unextended ink and drawn into with a kebab stick and hand printed with gentle pressure.


The same process was used for the following print which was printed onto a discarded pale yellow print resulting in a lovely combination of colours.


Returning to the course notes, we were asked to use simple paper masks to create printed shapes.  Quick sketches were made of two vases and photocopied to create masks.


The remaining prints have been taken using a borrowed portable etching press and CMK Hawthorn stay open inks at home.

The first print used the negative space as a mask and was printed onto a page from an A-Z


Although pleasing, using the positive shape of the other vase was more appealing, beautifully framing the town of Ashtead, Surrey.


As the paper is quite shiny, the ink wasn’t absorbed and didn’t give full coverage, allowing the map to show through slightly and creating a lovely spidery halo to the vase.

Excited by the apparent use of a solvent to create background spots in Sophie LeCuyer’s work, a negative space mask was used to create the blue vase.  Once the ink was rolled onto the plate, it was sprayed with a fine mist of white spirit.  With a little patience a dotty effect was revealed.  It proved difficult to register the print well, or perhaps I mismatched the negative and positive images from different originals, so I was a little disappointed that the following didn’t quite reach its potential.  I was delighted with the effect of the white spirit on the blue and the contrast of the orange, both mixed from CMY inks, but disappointed that the positive and negative images didn’t line up.


The following registration worked well, the background was a ghost print onto deli paper and the orange brushed onto the plate for the second print, but unfortunately the stay open inks ‘stayed open’ and the orange has not dried but remains open and sticky on the surface of the slightly waxed surface of the deli paper.


Slightly frustrated with the difficulty of lining up the prints, the negative mask was used to produce the following black vase which was then overprinted with a entire plate of rust ink, the soft, slightly transparent paper took the ink well, together with the chinagraph markings which I though were on the reverse of the plate!


Continuing with the ‘cheats’ method of over printing the masked shape, I was delighted with the following.  The positive mask was used to produce the black starry background, brush thinner was sprayed onto the plate to create the stars which were larger and appeared more quickly than using white spirit.  The print was put through the press a second time with the pale peach/tan ink.


To complement this print, the negative mask of the taller vase was used to print the black on some delicious chappra tissue which was then overprinted with a pale brown ink. The result was a lovely aged effect.


Both prints were complimented by the addition of the positive mask used with black ink and a spray of brush thinners.


Lastly in this series, I returned to attempt printing the negative and positive masks on the same paper.  Although the result has potential, the registration was careless with the black extending below the orange and the low tac masking tape tore the paper (which is not shown here).


A tidier result was achieved by overprinting the positive mask with a strong rust ink.  Both prints were very satisfying.



Moving on to use plant material as a mask, this fern was printed onto a piece of calico which had been ironed to freezer paper to keep it flat.


The ghost print onto newsprint shows some lovely detail of the veins of the bracken and the weave of the fabric.


Some Hakonechloa grass was laid onto an inked plate which had been sprayed with brush thinner and then printed onto some hand dyed cotton.


The contrast and the background are very effective, but I was even more excited by the ghost onto newsprint in spite of the yellow blobs of not very well mixed ink.


Removing the grass and putting it to one side, ink side up, the plate was re-inked and sprayed, the grass laid back onto the plate, some marks added with a kebab stick and a print taken on 9g lens tissue which is beautifully transparent.


Thinking about combining some of the techniques, marks were made into the pink vase with scrim and for the second run through the press, the blue space left by the positive mask was marked with a paintbrush.  This was more carefully registered, the subtle marks and resultant print showing how much I have learned about the inks and the process.


Wanting to see the effect of the more textured surface of the NOT cold pressed  Fabriano 5 paper, the cyan and magenta inks were mixed and painted onto the the plate, with delicately textured results.


Combining the use of masks with backdrawing. Although quite effective, I think this would have been more appealing if the vase hand been coloured by printing or watercolour.


In the following the vase was printed with scrim marks brushed onto plate but the colours were too similar.  Adding the backdrawing has redeemed the print producing some lovely qaulities.  The colours and fuzzy lines of the back drawing suggest age.


The following is a ghost drawing of the acrylic plate used for the above back drawing.  The vase design has been subtracted from the black ink.  The lovely texture of the loose weave cotton adds to the print which has similarly aged qualities to the above.


Another ghost print was possible onto 9g lens tissue/tissuetex which would lend itself to collage or further design work.


During a recent workshop, similar masks were used with Finish dishwasher liquid to discharge colour from cotton corduroy and stitched into.  Its difficult to see the detail in the photograph but the text achieved on the corduroy is mottled and effective and I will definitely experiment with it again in future.