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Old 03-17-2012, 02:27 PM
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Inluvwithparis Inluvwithparis is offline
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How to 'seal' my collograph?

Hi all, I've been working in mixed media and am dying to make some collographs from some of my smaller pieces. can anyone advise me on how to 'seal' them or waterproof them for the inking process, so I can wash off the ink and re-use them. Thank you
Ellen
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:55 PM
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bridog bridog is offline
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Re: How to 'seal' my collograph?

Greetings Ellen (and Happy St. Pat's Day too )
from what I know Shellac might be the best sealant for collograph plates.
I have applied three to four coats of brush or spray can water-based varathane and this seems to work fairly good. I did try acrylic varnish and acrylic house paint but unfortunately this wasn't such a good choice as there was a tackiness to them and the damp blotted printmaking paper ended up gluing to the plate when it was passed through the press. Perhaps I didn't leave it long enough to cure?
I have also put plastic food wrapped over my plate and run it through the press with the blankets to mold it over the relief forms before applying ink. This works too but on a more temporary basis I think as the wrap can develop tears in it. Also you want to seal the sides and backside of the plate to make them totally waterproof for cleaning.
Good luck!
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Last edited by bridog : 03-17-2012 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:14 PM
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Inluvwithparis Inluvwithparis is offline
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Re: How to 'seal' my collograph?

Thank you Bridog. I will try shellac. Have you Irish connectipons by any chance? your username caught my attention, (means young Bridget in Irish)
Happy St Patricks Day to you too,
love from Ireland
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:34 PM
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Re: How to 'seal' my collograph?

I use Ronseal quick drying varnish to seal my collagraph plates. Available in DIY stores in the UK so imagine it is also on sale in Eire. Have never had a problem with that. I know shellac is the traditional varnish of choice (button varnish or knotting varnish- again available in DIY stores)and some folk use yacht varnish too.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:19 PM
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Inluvwithparis Inluvwithparis is offline
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Re: How to 'seal' my collograph?

Thank you, will certainly give it a try. Ronseal eh? ''Does exactly what it says on the tin'' quick drying sounds good.
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:58 AM
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inugie inugie is offline
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Re: How to 'seal' my collograph?

Hi, good to see another Irish printmaker... Most varnishes will work, but be careful to apply it very thinly - build it up in 2 or 3 very thin layers a couple of hours apart to allow it all to dry completely - nothing worse than a blob of goo on your print and your plate ruined too! In one of the classes I did many years ago we used wood glue in thin layers to seal it and used an oil based ink to print. The good thing about shellac (artist quality flakes dissolved in meths) is that it dries in minutes and is very thin so you keep all the details.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:29 AM
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Inluvwithparis Inluvwithparis is offline
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Re: How to 'seal' my collograph?

Thanks inugie, I've been working with mixed media , I've posted one of my pieces on the mixed media forum, ad I'm really dying to try 'the next step' ie. what I feel may be printmaking. Re shellac,I am willing to try anything to make life easier, lol!
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:49 PM
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Re: How to 'seal' my collograph?

Hi there I have not been on here in a while and I can see that there have already been some suggestions offered however if you are not aware of it then Lascaux acrylic hard ground, is an excellent product to acquire for the purposes of collagraph as well as for etching.
It can be used to seal a collagraph plate and it dries very quickly. I leave it 30 mins but its probably dry after 15 mins especially if you apply a thin layer and that is all that is needed.

You can also scribe into it as well as sand it (you'd really need 2 layers of it if you were going to apply e.g., sand paper or wire wool. The book "Intaglio" by Carol Robertson and Robert Adam, gives lots of clear step by step ideas for how to use these amazing new products for use in etching and collagraph.
While the product is not cheap - it will last you a good while and I would not use it on the back of plates for that I would use either a good contact adhesive (such as that used for shelves or covering old tables) or parcel packing tape. Its a wide shiny plastic tape - often comes in a beige-brown colour.
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