Tuesday, July 26, 2011


These are a few collagraph artists that I like:

Five Elements Series: Fire (left) and Earth (right)

Eunice Kim puts modeling paste in a bottle and applies dots in the desired pattern onto a piece of mat board. After the dots have been applied she smooths the dots with a piece of paper and applies a coat of acrylic medium (this seals the plate). Kim desires simplicity within her art and uses her work to understand relationships. For more information on Eunice Kim you can click the link above which leads you to her artist statement on her website. 

"The Marina" from Ashment's Alaska Series

Candice Ashment begins her printmaking by making her own paper which is extremely hardcore. As Ashment is making her own paper she also makes her collagraph plates. The majority of Ashment's work that I have seen has all been objective compared to Kim's whose isn't. As an example, the picture above is of a print from Ashment's Alaska series. Ashment makes her collagraph plates by layering a variety of materials. After the plates are finished she seals them similarly to Kim, and begins printing. Ashment prints the plates with black ink and then goes back into them with watercolor. For more information on Candice Ashment please click the link above.

*Disclaimer*: These are just a few of the artists that I like, and for the "A Part Of A Whole" project your collagraph tiles don't have to be like the ones above at all. I'd be happy if you did a few squiggles with Elmer's glue or glued a leaf down.

Friday, July 22, 2011

How to stumble across a 3 by 3 inch piece of mat board

 If you are trying to get your hands on a piece of 3 by 3 inch piece of mat board never fear, there are several ways to do this.

  • If you live in Columbia send Ashley a message and she will get a piece to you.
  • If you go to Columbia College you can probably swing down to the framing lab and snag a scrap piece and cut it (only you can't technically cut it in the lab if you haven't taken the beginning framing class, but you could take the scrap and cut it to size with an x-acto knife). Make sure it's cool with Jackie if you take it first though.
  • If you do not live close to Ashley you could ask her to send one to you (or more for your friends) and she will hop right on that.
  • If you do not live close to Ashley but don't want to bother her to send one to you (it is really no bother though) go to your local craft store and ask them if they have a scrap piece of mat board. If they are being losers and will not give a scrap piece to you they have pieces of whole mat board for sale for like seven bucks.
  • If all else fails and you can just not get a piece of mat board (which is cool) take a flat cardboard box (the thin kind of cardboard, like a cereal box or something) and cut that to 3 by 3 inches. You could use that in a pinch and it will work just fine.
 Those are a few roads you can take to obtaining your 3 by 3 inch piece of mat board. If you have any questions just send me a message on whatever social network (except for myspace-sorry Tom) that you happen to be a part of.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Hey guys I figured some examples might help. These are a few that I have made this past week. The above tile was created with texture magic paint. I put the paint on kinda thick, and when it was about medium dry I carved an abstract design in it with a little wooden dowel. Once it dried I put another coat of mod podge over it. Alternatively you could draw a design with Elmer's glue.

To decorate this tile I picked a bunch of small leaves off some trees from my backyard and glued them down with some mod podge. If you don't want to use leaves you can use flower petals, grass blades, cut up some pine straw, pretty much whatever.

Be creative and use this as an opportunity to play and to hunt.

What to glue/do & what not to do/glue

What you can glue (or do) to your mat board to make a collagraph plate:
  • leaves
  • tape (duct tape, scotch tape, masking tape, etc.)
  • scraps of ribbon
  • pieces of cardboard
  • pieces of card-stock
  • feathers
  • designs with Elmer's glue
  • designs with modeling paste
  • sand
  • cut into it with an x-acto knife
  • coins (as long as they aren't valuable)
  • fabric
  • yarn
  • string
What you shouldn't do (at least for this project)

  • glue beads, sugar, anything over 1/8 to a 1/4 inch thick, or beans.
  • if you choose to put writing in your collagraph make sure it's backwards (it will print in reverse)


Hey guys, these are the guidelines.

1. Your tile has to be on 3 by 3 inch mat board (or thin cardboard).
2. You have to write your name on the back so that I know whose is whose.
3. I need them sent by November..let's go with 15th. November 15th.
4. Once you send your tile to me for printing you have to understand that you won't be getting your tile back. If this is a game-changer for you, email me and we can make special arrangements.  

That's really about it. You can put whatever you want on the tile. You can create words, images, abstract, nonobjective pieces with anything flat(ish) and textured, just as long as it isn't anything copy-written unless you own the rights to it.
(As an example, if you owned a website you could do your website's logo if you wanted). You can put as little or as much as you want on it.

How do I make a collagraph?

Making a collagraph is really easy and only slightly time consuming. For this particular project you will need a 3 by 3 inch piece of mat board (which you can snag from your local art supply store, wal-mart, or you know, call Ashley), mod podge (that glue in the craft section that looks white and dries clear), a magic marker, and flat and textured stuff.
  1. Once you have your 3 by 3 inch piece of mat board, coat it with some mod podge, oh, you'll need a foam brush too. Let it dry.
  2. Once it's dry you can start adding stuff too it. Go outside and get some leaves, cut up some old clothes you don't wear anymore, grab a handful of sand, cut out some cool shapes from some card stock, you can draw a design with some Elmer's glue, or you could scratch into it with an x-acto knife. Glue the stuff to the mat board with the mod podge.
  3. Once that coat is dry you are going to need to do another one (I know this sounds like a lot of gluing, but that is the nature of the beast).
  4. Coat it again-this time make sure to do the back and the sides.
  5. Once that's dry write your name that I know you by on the back side with magic marker (it doesn't matter if it bleeds through on to the other side).
  6. Post it to me so that I can print it with the "A Part Of A Whole" project.

The only thing that you need to remember is that your image will print in reverse-so if you write anything make sure to write it backwards.

***Also note: If you can not obtain a piece of mat board (which is fine) you can use a flat piece of cardboard (like a cereal box, hamburger helper box, etc) which you can then cut to 3 by 3 inches using a ruler and scissors/x-acto knife. 

A Part Of A Whole

Be a part of the collaborative printmaking project "A Part Of A Whole." My name is Ashley Ruff and I am a senior in the studio art department at Columbia College. I've been exploring the theme of collaboration by creating collagraph tiles to be printed together as a texture quilt.

I think it would be a neat idea to have different people, whether they are print makers or not, create their own collagraph tile on 3 by 3 inch mat board. The tiles would then be sent to me by a certain deadline this fall, I would put them all together, ink them intaglio style, print, and display the final product.

If you are interested in being a part of this project please contact me by leaving a comment on my blog, twittering me (ArtsyAshley), or emailing me on facebook or Google plus (Ashley Ruff). These are the guidelines.

** If you would like to be a part of this project but are hesitating because you are not "artsy" or do not know what a collagraph is, stop hesitating. For instructions on how to make a tile go here