Collagraphy (sometimes spelled collography) is a printmaking process in which materials are applied to a rigid substrate (such as paperboard or wood). The word is derived from the Greek word koll or kolla, meaning glue and graph, meaning the activity of drawing. It.s a form of gravure (intaglio), derived from the etching and engraving. Sometimes associated with collages prints or collage intaglio. Collaprint differs from etching and engraving in two ways:
- Etching and engraving are created on metal plate, usually copper or zinc. Collaprint can be made of cardboard, paper, wood, metal or plastic, or even any material that can pass through the press.
- For etching and engraving plate is carved or cut the surface for receiving texture that can be printed. For collaprint that which should be printed shall be collage (built up) - print surface is constructed by adding additional materials. Substances such as carborundum, acrylic texture mediums, sandpapers, string, cut card, leaves and grasses can all be used in creating the collograph plate. In some instances, leaves can be used as a source of pigment by rubbing them onto the surface of the plate.
Collography is a very open printmaking method. It may be printed as intaglio (gravure) or relief (high printing). Different tonal effects and vibrant colors can be achieved with the technique due to the depth of relief and differential inking that results from the collograph plate's highly textured surface. Ink may be applied to the upper surfaces of the plate with a brayer for a relief print, or ink may be applied to the entire board and then removed from the upper surfaces but remaining in the spaces between objects, resulting in an intaglio print. A combination of both intaglio and relief methods may also be employed. The plate can be inked with a roller or paintbrush, or some combination thereof. Ink or pigment is applied to the resulting collage, and the board is used to print onto paper or another material using either a printing press or various hand tools. The resulting print is termed a collagraph or collograph. Depending of how you print and what kind source material, the plate can support up to 150 editions, but usually artists using this method create significantly fewer prints.