Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Chine-collé drypoint engraving

I adore paper and have ever since I was a kid browsing stationery stores with my mom. So it just naturally follows that I'd go overboard when ordering pretty decorative papers for printmaking, for my Chine-collé prints. I already had several sheets of handmade paper, but not the thin, almost tissue-like paper preferred in Chine-collé printmaking (from the French meaning, loosely, "paper with glue").

(Above is a 6"x9" drypoint chine-colle engraving of the Arles River,

printed on BFK Rives printmaking paper)

"Chine-collé" prints add a layer of color to what would usually be a black and white print. It might also add a texture and/or pattern; here the paper has stringy inclusions like the white streak seen in the foreground above the windows and the uneven sky. The paper is a blended two-tone, from yellow down to brown.

Here's the how-to: Brush glue all over one side of your Chine-collé paper, ink your engraved plate, and place it face up on the press bed. Place the Chine-collé paper on the inked plate, glue side up, then place the heavier printmaking paper on top of that, and print. When you pull the print, the tissue paper will have adhered to the printmaking paper, and the inked image will appear on the tissue paper! Got it?

Thanks to BDP for the photograph on which this print is based, and looking forward to "borrowing" photographs from Rome!