The Natural Collection Through Collagraph Printmaking: Part 1

| 6/28/2018 9:54:00 AM

Tags: collagraph, printmaking, artwork, Barbara Hengstenberg, WildesArt, North Carolina,

Drying Prints

I’m always searching for ways to see -- really notice -- the natural world. Some of my most relaxing, meditative times have been in the midst of nature, and paying attention with all of my senses. When I walk outside, I love to feel barks, grasses, mosses, rocks. I enjoy listening to the wind in the trees, birdsong, water lapping on a shoreline. The smells of spring, especially right before a rainstorm, the crisp smell of winter or the fragrance of fresh cut grass and our southern magnolia blossoms.

One way to capture the signs and textures of nature, as well as memories, is to collect all sorts of pieces of the natural world and use them in artful collagraph printmaking plates. Collagraph print plates are made by gluing items to a thick paperboard, cardboard or wood plate to be used in creating prints. I use these plates create artwork, notecards, book covers and writing paper.

Arts and Crafts for Kids

Collagraph printmaking can also be a fun art project for kids to work on. Children love to hunt for pieces of nature. Imagine their delight in creating colorful prints of their treasures. This can be a project just for fun, or it can be used as an educational project, such as leaf identification, shapes and patterns identification or part of a lesson on senses.


Collection of Nature

Start by searching for beautifully shaped leaves (especially those with deep vein patterns), ferns, stems, chunks of bark, grasses...anything with interesting patterning. I once created a plate using fresh lavender. Once I started the printing process, the fragrance of lavender permeated the room.


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