A blog about making art and other things using cloth, paper, paint, colour, stitch, and all sorts of exciting techniques, some of which I'm sure I still have to discover! I hope that the joy all this gives me is visible in what you can see here.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Collagraph weekend workshop with Cas Holmes

A brilliant weekend workshop led by Cas Holmes. We started by making a collagraph plate with thin card, and I decided to use this fuchsia flower image for mine.

In the middle of the above image is my collagraph plate, but by this time I had used a selection of dark acrylic paints on the surface, so the detail isn't showing here. I had also added a key and a keyhole cover in brass, for a contrast to the flower shape.

We also layered up our prints with a selection of papers and fabrics, holding them together with Cas's technique using watery wallpaper paste. They were left to dry over night, and then we spent the following day working into them with hand and machine stitch. Above, before stitch was added, and below after.

These were all just experimental pieces, but I was very pleased with the results from the collagraph printing, A technique new to me.

My second piece, showing a detailed close-up of the stitching.

Cas also encouraged us to consider the back of our work, because it can sometimes give very pleasing results. Not too sure about my piece below though!

Above, the results of a very interesting experiment where we had to draw the person sitting opposite us without taking our pencil from the papers surface, and keeping our eyes on the face without looking at our paper. I think I've created the next alien for Doctor Who!!!

I decided that I really wanted to own a piece of art by Cas Holmes. so bought the small Water Iris you see above. I'm really thrilled with it, and can't wait to put it in a frame and hang it on a wall. Below, is the back view of it, and every bit as interesting as the front, but without the colour.

Today, I just had to have another play with this, new to me technique, and made a small plate (below), from the sketch in my sketchbook above.

I think the image below has worked quite well.

This one has been layered up with some other bits, and I will hopefully stitch into it tomorrow when the paste has dried.

Above, is a totally different textile that I finished today. It is for a challenge called 'All in a days work', and is A3 size. There never seems to be enough time in any day for me to do everything I want to do, so I thought that the inner workings of a clockwork piece would fit the bill! It's certainly a huge contrast from what I did at the weekend, but at least it will hopefully keep me from getting stuck in a rut!

This is the second workshop I've attended led by Cas Holmes, and all I can say is that personally, I find her an extremely inspirational teacher, and someone who encourages a very relaxed, serendipitous attitude to the techniques that she teaches. If you get the chance, I can thoroughly recommend one of her classes.


  1. Love the look of this technique and really like the prints you made.

    1. Thank you, it seems a reasonably straightforward technique to use, although I think I may need to start sealing the plates, the paint soon softens the card.

  2. The fact that you enjoyed the workshop shows in the pieces that you produced. How lovely to see you using the technique for your Dungeness series too. Love the CQ piece - maybe I should get mine started!!

    1. Thanks Maggi, I must say the photos I took of Dungeness a couple of years ago seem to be inspiring me still! I think another visit next year may be on the cards. I shall look forward to seeing your CQ piece too.

  3. Hello Cath

    Good post and loved the way you have moved the process forward with your Dungeness images.One of my favourite places. I would always advise sealing a collagraph plate for longer use. Experiment also with plates for strength..but you know me. I will always use whats to hand.X

    1. Thanks Cas, good advice, I'm definitely going to do more of this, and will also start to seal the plates. I think I was so eager to try my boat one out, I couldn't wait, but will try to be more patient with the next one!


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