how I make a collitho

how I make a ‘collitho’

Today, I’ll explain how I make a ‘collitho’. I hope you find it interesting to see how I work and perhaps you’d like to try it for yourself. Please, feel free to ask me any questions you might have.

I start out with a sheet of lithography material, called Pronto Plate. This is a manmade material with lots of tiny holes, designed to hold water. It’s a thin and flexible material with a matt, paper-like surface, and can be stitched on the sewing-machine.

From my fabric stash I choose and cut pieces and audition them onto the plate until I’m happy with how the design looks. I then temporarily attach everything, using strips of Solufix, which is a self-adhesive, water-soluble material. The collage can then be stitched, after which the Solufix is dissolved.

For extra colour I sometimes use wax crayons.

I then begin to add more colour and texture, using oil-based ink. First I spray water onto the collage and then I roll several layers of ink onto the surface. The fabric and stitch hold the ink, but because of the water, only a light texture is left behind on the rest of the plate, as the water repels the greasy ink.

Then I remove some of the colour and texture again by printing the plate on my etching press. The prints made that way can be interesting, too.

I keep adding and removing ink like this untill I’m happy with the finished plate, which is what I call the ‘collitho’, a word I made up for this combination of collage and lithography.

Although I work with oil-based ink I hardly ever need to use smelly terpentine to clean up. Simple sunflower oil, or any other oil, will do the job just as well.


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