Tag Archives: shellac

Shellac is a traditional type of varnish made from resin exuded by beetles. It is spirit based – mix it with meths to dilute or remove it.

A collagraph print made using combed cement

Combed cement printing plates

If you think ‘combs’ and ‘cement’ sound odd together, this post should help to change your mind. Combed cement creates a range of strong textures which are very effective in collagraph printing plates.

You can approach this technique in various ways; speedy and dynamic, geometric and measured, or slow, flowing and meditative. There is a combed cement technique for all temperaments!

 

Create a comb collection

Assorted combs for cement

Assorted combs for cement

Combs are wonderful tools for Continue reading

Crackle texture collagraph print

Create crackle texture collagraph plates

If you like textures in printmaking you will love crackle texture. You will have seen this effect on Japanese ceramics and old paintings, it is often used to give the impression of age on painted furniture and ‘vintage’ ornaments.

Crackle texture suggests many associations….

Collagraph print with crackle texture

Collagraph print with crackle texture

Drought, desert, geological formations, rock forms, ageing, the effects of time and heat…. Continue reading

carborundum paint

Carborundum paint printing plates

Making plates with carborundum paint is a technique beloved by many printmakers, and once you have tried it you will understand why.

It is a lovely, free painterly technique and you can work quite fast if that suits you. The marks can be very expressive, and the prints often look like a lithograph or even Continue reading

shellac flakes in meths

What is Shellac?

Nowadays the shellac you come across is usually in a nail bar. Here we are looking at a different material – the original shellac. Find out why this is a really useful varnish and sealant for printmakers, particularly when making collagraph plates.

shellac flakes

golden shellac flakes

Shellac is a natural resin secreted by lac beetles living on trees in India. It recorded use dates back over 3000 years, and it was used for a multitude of purposes until the invention of plastic mostly replaced it.

Nowadays it is used in wood finishes, you may know it as French polish, knotting or Continue reading