How well does a collagraph plate print on tea bag paper? – Nimanoma

How well does a collagraph plate print on tea bag paper?

July 20, 2023 Naomi Southon

I've had some success printing on to tea bag paper but I was a little bit sceptical as to how well it would pick up the details from a collagraph plate as the paper needs to make contact with lots of little grooves and channels in the plate. Here's the printing process I went through and the outcomes.

Fish collagraph plate

The collagraph plate I decided to use was a fish created on mount board with cut out sections, stippling marks made in the mount board surface, added textured wall paper details and PVA glue on the mount board. 

applying Hawthorn stay open ink

I use Hawthorn Stay Open Inks which I apply in blobs initially and spread with a rag so it coats the whole surface.

Once coated I use a clean rag to remove the excess ink and polish back sections to be lighter.Plate cleaned up for printing

Once it's cleaned it's ready to print.  I use an X cut press.

x cut

The tea bag paper wasn't dampened or wet in any way like I would normally prep my thicker papers, just used straight on to the plate.

X cut set up for printing

A felt blanket was added placed on top and the plate passed through the Xcut.

final collagraph print

I'm really impressed with the level of detail picked out in the print.  All the texture is visible as it would be with a thick dampened paper.

collagraph detail

fish face

Final verdict

The tea bag paper performed really well, all the print detail came out as well as it does on a thicker damp paper.  The paper didn't distort or tear going through the press.  My only note to make was I really should remember to put a protective scrap of paper between the tea bag paper and the blanket as there was some ink transfer through the paper! That's my silly fault though.

If you want to try tea bag paper for printing collagraph plates you can find it in my shop.


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