I've been enjoying experimenting with making collograph prints on my printing press. To do this, you make a plate filled with different textures, which you ink up and print onto a piece of dampened paper using oil based inks. This print can then be transformed by working over it with water based inks.
Let me take you through the stages of making a series of 4 hummingbird prints using this collograph technique.
Of course, you have to start with a design, and I started by drawing out 4 different humming birds from 4 different angles. I then took the outlines of these drawings, traced them onto mount card, and cut them out, ready to cover these shapes with textures. I considered how best to render the texture of the humming birds, and decided to go with feathers and a trim which was made up of leaves. You can see I pasted the feathers to the body and upper wings, and made the tail and edges of the wings from the leaf trim cut into pieces. You stick everything into place with PVA, and then varnish it at least twice.
I decided to experiment with both a pink and a purple ink. The pink inks I worked over with a grey water based ink to tone it down a bit - but I decided I preferred the purple. Below you can see each of the finished purple and turquoise hummingbird collographs I created. I really like the fact that so much detail is picked up in they ink - it's surprising how much is transferred. I also think the vivid turquoise and purple inks work well together, and captures the brightly coloured hummingbird. You can buy these prints as a fabric - the purple version here and a pink version here.