Melody Knight Leary

Melody Knight Leary

Norwich, CT
Laced, Collagraph & Photopolymer Intaglio
16 x 24

Basically, an original print is a hand made image or design created on a matrix, which is a surface such as wood, metal, or stone and then transferred onto paper using a printing press or hand pressure to create the impression.

For my print entitled Laced, I used two different surfaces to create my image. The large plate is a collagraph, which is composed of various materials adhered to a cardboard surface in a collage-like manner. The small insert with the figure is a photopolymer intaglio plate created by adhering a light sensitive photopolymer film (in this case ImagON) to the surface of a piece of copper. My image was created on a transparent sheet of film, placed over the copper plate, exposed to ultraviolet light and then processed in a bath of soda ash and water.

Etching ink (in this case Akua) was applied to the surface of both plates to fill in the recessed areas. In an intaglio print, the ink lies below the surface of the plate and is transferred to the paper under pressure. Next, the excess ink was carefully wiped off of the high surface areas leaving the low areas filled with ink. I rolled a surface color over the collagraph plate using a brayer. This deposited ink on the high areas of the plate and enhanced the textural surface detail. The small copper plate was carefully wiped with phone book pages to remove surface ink and leave the recessed areas intact.

The collagraph plate was placed on the bed of the printing press and then the smaller plate was carefully placed into position on top of the larger plate. A sheet of dampened paper was placed over the inked surfaces, felt blankets were laid down and the entire assembly was rolled through the press.

To complete my print, I punched holes in the image to accommodate a length of ribbon and applied a couple of metal eyelets. Finally, a watercolor wash was added to highlight areas.

Laced is a limited edition, which means that a specific number of prints have been pulled from the plate.

The idea for the image came from an old girdle that I had found in a consignment shop. A woman stands demurely with her fingers laced before her tummy and her tummy laced behind her fingers. Oh the things we women do to “fit” in. Think.