View Full Version : cool Chine Colle' stuff

03-23-2002, 02:05 PM
You guys have probably seen this guy, John Gall's stuff but I post a link here anyhow . I love this kind of thing !


The page at " Printworks Magazine " where he describes his process is screwy, so I am taking the liberty of posting it here . I hope thats ok ... It's pretty juicy stuff .

By John D. Gall

As far back as my first etching class at Guilford College, I became excited with the concept of the "chine colle" (Chinese collage). Almost every print I create uses this colle process or some derivation.

The simplest colle is done by placing a precut, thin colored paper on top of a wiped intaglio plate. I cut the paper precisely to cover the inside edge of the beveled plate. The colle
paper is dampened and sprinkled with a fine coating of powered wheat paste glue. The actual printing paper (Rives BFK or other) is then carefully laid over the plate (with colle paper on top) and run through the press. This effect alone adds a whole new dimension to an etching.

There are two steps of the technique that demand attention. First, when cutting and dampening the colle paper you must allow for paper expansion. You should "test" it for size before sprinkling with glue and trim as necessary. Secondly, when applying the glue, shake it out of a container thinly and evenly over the colle paper.

YOU DON'T NEED MUCH. It is best to sprinkle the colle paper with glue
before the final placing upon the plate. I have done hundreds and hundreds of colles using this method with very few failures. I use a plastic container (about 6"x2") covered with a couple layers of tarlatan for the glue applicator. If you use proper press pressure and do not over sprinkle you will not ever have a problem with glue "oozing out" around the edges and will have excellent bondage.

You can expand the concept to include doing several colles within a single print. I call this method "multi-colle". Specifically, you can place papers on selected areas or images of the plate. A colle paper cut to the plate size can then be used, or not used, before laying the final (backing) paper upon the plate.

Perhaps the most exciting reason to use the colle process is not only can numerous colored papers be used, but you may create your own, or use various other printed material. I often use maps, dictionary pages, or text book pages, but be aware of the quality and acidity of the papers you select. Using these items can also encourage production of unique prints, either as variable editions, or as monoprints.

Let me explain a few important aspects of doing multi-colles. To be consistent if editioning, I make a template for each piece placed upon the plate. I use tracing paper to transfer the area or image from the plate to a thin cardboard template, which will in turn be used to cut out the colle paper. To begin, I assemble the papers on the plate off the press bed, placing it on the press bed only when completed. I normally use a colle paper over the full plate as well as several cut pieces in selected areas on the plate. The only way I have found to successfully do this is to first place the dampened and sprinkled full paper on the plate, place 2 or 3 small weights on one side to keep it in position, and then carefully lift and fold it back exposing the plate again, allowing you to then place the other dampened and sprinkled cut pieces on the plate.

After the cut pieces are placed, fold the full paper slowly and carefully back over the plate. Place this "sandwich" of papers on the press bed, lay the backing paper (BFK or other) over the assemblage and run it through the press. Dampening of all the paper is important because it allows the paper to lie flat on the plate as well as improve the printing quality. Depending on the papers and colors you use, intense, bright colors are easily obtained. Please visit my web site to see additional images and my personal artist statement.

[email protected]

03-23-2002, 04:13 PM
Very cool stuff he does.
Thanks for the article and link Colin.
Have you tried it yet? :)


03-23-2002, 06:12 PM
I havent tried it yet, Gisela , but I am going to . Do you think rice starch glue would work just as well ? Or bunny glue ? I dont think I have any wheat paste .
Also- wheat paste glue is what they use for wallpapering right ?

03-24-2002, 01:03 PM
Chine Colle is a wonderful way to spice up an intaglio print. One of the important things to remember is that you can't just use any paper to do it. There are some wonderfully textured and colored papers that have body but are thin enough to be effective in the process. I also became aware that you can use a wheat based wall paper paste for application, because it is archival whereas some of the other pastes are not and would soon show deterioration of the print.

03-24-2002, 09:25 PM
Just wanted to say that wheat paste is available at hardware stores - just look in the paint and wallpaper section . " Golden Harvest " is the brand I found .

03-24-2002, 11:25 PM
Thanks for the tip, Colin -- going to give it a try. :)


03-25-2002, 09:50 AM
John D. Gall said, "There are two steps of the technique that demand attention. First, when cutting and dampening the colle paper you must allow for paper expansion. You should "test" it for size before sprinkling with glue and trim as necessary. Secondly, when applying the glue, shake it out of a container thinly and evenly over the colle paper.... I use a plastic container (about 6"x2") covered with a couple layers of tarlatan for the glue applicator.

One of the best containers I have used is one for parmesan cheese. The kind you can buy at most anyplace like Wal Mart in the kitchen supply section. Instead of tarlatan I use a layer of womens hosiery to put under the lid, and this works very well in giving an even application. It also works well with powered aqua tint.

Remember that the dampened chine colle paper should be moist, but not soaking wet before applying the powered wheat paste, and that the ink works in combination with the wheat paste to adhere the chine colle paper to the print.

Colin Golden Harvest is the only wheat based paste that I have found also. I've looked for others, but no others are archival.

(edited for addendum)

03-19-2009, 02:14 AM
I didn't open your webs. I'm interested it this webs. Can you upload again? Thanks million.

Inky Fingers
03-19-2009, 02:43 AM
I'm very interested in this thread, but the link seems to be broken. Att.net says it can't find what we are looking for. Any suggestions?

Diane Cutter
03-19-2009, 07:10 AM
I think that link might have been in a hosted website that no longer exists. I searched for John D. Gall and came up with these links so you can get an idea of his work:



03-19-2009, 07:28 AM
The new Tamarind litho book has a section on it. I prefer using Talas Rhoplex N580 as the adhesive (brushed on, not sprayed) available at talasonline.com.

Diane Cutter
03-19-2009, 10:06 AM
Lovestofish... Can you give a link for that product? I tried on the www.talasonline.com but got a 'couldn't find it' response.


03-19-2009, 10:15 AM
It may be that it shows up as TalasOnline.com.....maybe case sensitive....regardless if you google "Rhoplex N-580" the web site pops up.

Rhoplex is nice. Can be burnised on if you don't have a press. Pressure activates it. My tip is to use a synthetic brush and clean it off with cold water from time to time during chine colle process.

Diane Cutter
03-19-2009, 10:26 AM
Ah, thanks.. it seems the 'dash' was the missing piece for my search! I'm off to buy some...


03-19-2009, 10:48 AM
http://home.att.net/~jgallart I tried, but the links were broken to both of these web links????

There is a new book coming out on chine colle from Crown Point Press, "Magical Secrets about Chine Colle Pasting, Printing, Mounting and Leafing Step-by-Step, by Brian Shure" see: http://crownpointpress.stores.yahoo.net/prnomaseabch.html

One source of japanese and other asian papers that I like is Paper Connection International, http://www.paperconnection.com/ Its good to call or email them for orders. I started with a sample swatch book--the one for printmaking and conservation--then ordered some papers to try for printing and chine colle. Very good quality.

For chine colle, I use either Yasutomo Nori Rice Paste which you can get from Dick Blick or Daniel Smith, or Nori rice paste from McClain's http://www.imcclains.com/catalog/ink/nori.html (they also have inks, papers, and relief printing supplies).

03-22-2009, 12:26 AM
Thanks for the link to the Talas online store-great stuff.
I've never used powdered wheat or rice glue for chine colle'.
I've only tried PVA type glues, but I can see the advantage of
the powdered stuff with very thin papers.

03-22-2009, 01:02 AM
a little tip when using the wheat paste powder
put into a small jar or salt shaker and place a piece of cheese cloth across the opening (use a rubber band to hold it in place or set underneath the lid of the shaker container). You can trim off the excess fabric around the edge with scissors
helps to regulate the amount of powder you want sprinkling through

03-23-2009, 11:55 PM
Thanks for the heads up on the updated Chine Colle book.

As for wheat paste:

Hiromi Paper in Santa Monica CA sell wheat paste called Jin Shofu, which they say you have to cook. I believe its archival as they are all about fine japanese papers, bookbinding and conservation etc, so can't imaginge they are selling junk.

I've made some by cooking, and it only keeps for a few weeks in the fridge. I have not tried sprinkling it for chine colle - has anyone else?

available at

I really like the dry sprinkling technique, rather than brushing the wet paste. Much easier to position the paper on top of your plate etc, and it doesn't stick to your fingers!