Making File-Folder Collagraphs

A few weeks ago when I was visiting my husband’s office, I saw a pile of file folders outside one of the other offices with a “free-take me” sign on them.  I’d recently gotten interested in making collagraphs and had seen a technique somewhere that used file folders to make them.

I made a couple of simple collagraph plates  right away using using drawings that were traced onto a file folder and then glued down to another file folder, with the intention of making some more complex ones later.  Here are the first ones:

Life sort of got in the way of making any more for awhile, but for the last couple of days, I’ve had some ideas going through my brain that involved circles- actually that’s been a theme to a lot of the stitched shibori I’ve done this summer, too.  Today, I decided to draw something with circles and make a collagraph plate from it.

I started by gluing two file folders together with a glue-stick, as my free folders are pretty thin.  I then drew on my circle images and scanned it so I’d have a copy to work from as I cut it apart and glued it back together.  Here’s my original and my scanned copy:

I glued the scanned copy to another file folder and then began cutting out and gluing the pieces to that base.  I used a regular glue stick for all of the gluing. Here’s a picture part way through the process:

It actually took me a couple of hours to cut this apart and glue it back together, but it was exactly what I needed.  I love to cut things out- for me there’s some sort of meditative thing about cutting and gluing.

I made a couple of quick images from my new collagraph plate tonight.  These are both on fabric, using Caran D’ache neocolor 1 water resistant pastels.  When I heat-set these with an iron, they seem to be quite permanent on fabric.

On natural fabric:

On some of my hand-dyed fabric:

I’m hoping to have time to make more of these soon, and also to experiment with using them on some of my other hand-dyed fabrics.

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1 Comment

  1. Jaci said,

    September 27, 2009 at 8:19 am

    That is really cool, Karyn! I love how it turned out.


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