Experimental Collagraphs with Mary Woodworth

Mary Woodworth‘s four night experimental workshop on collagraph plate and printmaking at Tiger Lily Press ended in an evening of pulling prints.

Anne-Marie Herrera’s sleeping woman plate, wiped with red and a warm yellow applied a la poupée.

Wetting the paper (soaking and rolling between towels until just damp) allows for beautiful coverage and a really lovely embossing from textured collagraph plates.

Jennifer Baldwin’s print, and a sliver of plate on the left. Also with a la poupée ink application (all color was applied via dabbing and wiping and the plate was printed only once).

During the class, participants learned about mixing inks, choosing papers, making plates (building up, collaging, digging in, and sealing), wiping plates (and applying multiple colors—a la poupée), and printing them on the press.

A detail of Caley’s plate in a lush green. The print is deeply embossed in areas. (Her plate is pictured lower in this post.)
Caley’s plate printed in blue, with a little more of the image visible in this detail. Each of these is a proof print, testing the way various areas of the plate take and hold ink.
Anne-Marie’s first plate printed in blue. She later went on to add green to the edge of the leaf shape.


Pictured below are some of the plates before inking, in the process of being inked, and during printing. Collagraph plates can be made from sealed paper or board, and texture can be made of anything that can safely go through the press without damage. Some favorites are cut paper, mesh from fruit or produce bags, lace, sandpaper, thread, and other fibers. Since this class used thick board (davey board works), several folks chose to incise with blades as well as build up texture.

Two details of Caley’s collagraph plate composed of various fibers, cable, and a circuit board recessed into the surface. Sealed with gloss medium.
A detail of the incising in Jennifer’s plate, which has also been inked and is in the process of being wiped.


Part of cleaning the plate (and also making use of excess or remaining ink) is to run the plate through the press with prepared paper, but without inking again. This results in a ghost print, one that is usually much lighter (more ghostly) than the first print. Sometimes printers like to hand-alter these, but often alteration isn’t necessary.

Jennifer’s ghost print & her plate shown in the background still on the press registration template. She said of the class, “It was so much fun playing in Tiger Lily studio.  The time goes by too quickly, which means the focus is awesome.  Looking forward to the next workshop I can attend.”

Getting Inky at Tiger Lily Press

Interested in learning about collagraphs or taking a class with Mary? You can contact us to be added to a list for notification when we have another session.

Want to see what we have in store for the future? Our list of classes is posted.