Ellipsis: Further Riso Development

After riso printing a digital collage and testing out various papers with the riso printer, I needed to push my ideas further. I had been creating digital collage to print through the riso just because it was simple enough to do, but this is something I could have just digitally printed. So the collages that I was creating for riso needed to actually be for riso!

To begin with I created two physical collages which included a drawing, text and put together with paper scraps and masking tape. I scanned these onto the riso bed and printed them straight out and basically got the outcome I was expecting. As seen in the outcomes, the masking tape wasn’t visible and neither was the torn paper, but I had no issues with the text and drawing. This had be start thinking about what would and what wouldn’t be visible through the riso, which was going to be useful if I was going to be creating collage for this method of printing.

I created two sheets which tested out different elements to see how these would react. The first included: masking tape, washi tape, gaffer tape and scotch tape. The outcome wasn’t completely surprising as the masking tape simply didn’t show up but the others did to varying degrees. So the washi tape’s pattern showed but I saw no use for it going any further into the collage making. I think the most surprising outcome for me was the gaffer tape! When I scanned the master through as “Photo/Image” the gaffer tape was really light when printed – especially in comparison with the scotch tape – which I didn’t expect as the gaffer is much thicker and so I believed would produce more ink on the master. Obviously that idea was completely wrong.. But then once I scanned the sheet through as “Line” on the master, the scotch tape become solid ink and the gaffer tape almost disappeared?

I then tried printing different paper scraps, including: brown recycled card, white paper, yellow paper, magazine paper, acrylic painted paper and a book page. The white paper didn’t show which doesn’t surprise me but the yellow also didn’t show which surprised me! The most effective torn sheet was the brown paper, I think this is down to the colour of the sheet and the thickness of the stock. I had tried these as both “Photo/Image’ as well as “Line” and again the latter gave me a more solid ink coverage. This is handy for reference as I know if I used yellow I’d want this solid but maybe not so much if it was a darker ink.

The next experiment I tried was printing: a ProMarker, pencil, Rimmel concealer, oil pastel, Sharpie and spray ink. The outcomes of this test were more predictable for me, the ProMarker and the concealer were the only two which didn’t show up but it was useful to see how the textures of the others came through on the riso because it means I can use these in my final collages.

Once I had concluded which paper worked best I ripped it off of the test paper I had prepared and then printed this element over the top of my original collage. This actually gave me an outcome similar to the original hand produced collage so I think that it’s safe to say the experiments definitely came in handy today!

If I’m completely honest I thought that I had a good understanding of the riso process but these developments definitely proved otherwise. From the tests I started scratching the surface of how I can push my collages with the riso printer. Now I’m going to see how I can layer the more successful elements with my text and drawings. Stay tuned!

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