Collagraph & Cloth

Collagraph & Cloth

TSG February weekend 18 – 20th 2022

Tutor Sue Brown

Textile Study Group members meet for two weekends a year in a supportive but challenging environment to participate in workshops led by outside tutors from a wide range of disciplines. Last month our weekend workshop was led by artist Sue Brown.

Sue Brown is an artist using collagraph printmaking to tell stories. Collagraph plates can be made in many different ways using easily obtained materials. Also printed on a variety of substrates. The success of the printed image lies in the inking up and printing. Over the weekend we explored a couple of plate making and inking techniques and experimented with printing on a selection of textiles.

These weekends are like no others in my year- they’re a chance to meet up with like minded women, women of extraordinary skill, knowledge, talent- who at a drop of a hat will share, support, and encourage each other. The art workshop weekends are full on- they take stamina and at times courage, courage to try something new, fail, try again, make a mess, take a risk, but you might just take something home with you- a spark of an idea, a new technique, or simply time to reflect on your practice. Below are some reflections on the weekend from our group.

Can you sum up how you might use what you got from this weekend in your practice?

‘The workshop reignited my interest in collagraphs and printmaking – it felt exciting again!’

‘I am excited to explore printmaking further, to revisit my background in printed textiles and build the subtleties of collographic mark-making into my practice.’

‘It has reminded me of the usefulness of collagraph techniques for printed marks but also the flexibility of materials used for making the plates, which are beautiful objects in their own right.’

‘It made me consider another aspect of surface and printing.’

‘As detailed areas within a semi-transparent layered piece of work – I hope.’

‘I probably can’t use it directly as part of my work, but this absolutely didn’t stop my enjoyment of the weekend – it’s just so nice to learn something new, to do that alongside a group of people, to be away from the responsibilities of home for a day or two, have some laughs…’

‘Something that always excites me is how else can I add another layer , collagraphs add just that.’

A sentence about lifelong learning: 

‘My aim is to continually investigate, explore and learn – pushing myself, my ideas and my work.

‘I don’t ever want to feel I’ve stopped learning.’

‘The engagement with learning is research, exploration of methods and understanding of materials that fascinates, engrosses and thrills.’

‘I have just started a part time MA at Plymouth College of Art, I have been involved in Arts education for over 30 years and am passionate about lifelong learning. It is vital to keep up with contemporary developments, particularly in textiles, as it always feeds back into my teaching, learning also enriches my own practice and stimulates fresh ideas and thinking through making.’

‘As a tutor I’ve seen lifelong learning transform so many people’s lives; seen people make important friends; seen people find purpose and change direction in their lives. As a student it enables me to continue learning, exploring, challenging myself, has made massive impacts on my life at different stages by.It has also provided me with a flexible way of working as a single parent which has been essential. Should receive far more funding from Government – like it used to do – as it’s so important and valuable to individuals and to society.’

‘Continuing to learn new skills and pushing my thinking helps me to find personal meaning in my life and keeps me feeling curious and connected to the wider world.’

Thanks to Sue Brown for a fantastic workshop, everyone in the Textile Study Group and members who contributed to this post: Lois Blackburn, Sarah Burgess, Alice Fox, Sue Green, Sian Martin, Amarjeet Nandhra, Mandy Pattullo, Polly Pollock, Shelley Rhodes, Mary Sleigh and Julia Triston.