Collographs and salt

11 October 2011

In my last post I mentioned that I had bought a new book, Surface Treatment Workshop.  One of the suggestions in the book is to use salt crystals to pattern a dilute wash of water colour or acrylic paint.  I have done this before with silk paints (with great success) but not with paper.

My first attempt with paper was not so good, but never one to be defeated I gave it another go in my new 'Bletchley Park' sketch book.  And I think there could be some opportunities with this technique.  The first picture below shows the wet paint with the salt crystals sprinkled onto the page; and the one below shows the dried paint.

Here is the wet paint with the salt crystals.
And here is the same page once the paint has dried and with the salt crystals brushed off.
Ok, so not that exciting, but I think you will agree that there is some possibility with this technique on paper, in the same way that there is when silk painting.

Meanwhile, as I mentioned before I have committed to make a quilt for an Exhibition at Bletchley Park.  I have to get my skates on.  

I have made a start by doing a bit of research using the internet.  Bletchley Park was home to the Second World War code breakers (the Enigma Machine) and now houses the National Computer Museum.  This has set me off on my first area of research. 

Inspired by the computers and deciphering equipment, including the above image, I made three collograph plates using discarded cardboard packaging.  The top plates in the photo below are not so easy to make out  as I stuck the shapes with the shiny side up.  I like the shiny side of the cardboard which helps disperse the paint, giving me the effect I want when I print (well, that's the theory).  When I have tried some printing I will post the pictures.

After that bit of relaxing cutting and sticking,  I then went down a slightly different research route - telephones.  There is an old red telephone box at Bletchley Park (indeed it has a working post office - quirky and whimsy!)  

That sent me off , and I found this charming picture of Richard Gilbert Scott, the son of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, who designed the iconic red telephone box.  This picture, courtesy of the Daily Telegraph, shows Mr Gilbert Scott by the phone box in his Norfolk village, recently reprieved after BT cancelled the scrapping of the box following a campaign by the village residents.

And so now have a couple of areas of research to follow.  I have made a start.  This is just a photo graph but using I merged a photo of that iconic red box over that salty page!  I might have the germ of an idea here!

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