The chine collé process

“Chine collé” is a techique in printing. It is the name given to the process whereby you stick bits of thin paper on the print.

Here are some of my chine collé prints.The black and white is an intaglio print: an etching.  The coloured parts are not printed ink, but are bits of paper stuck on. The paper is so thin, and so strongly adhered, that it looks like part of the printed image. At least, that’s the idea.

It’s also possible to print the whole image as chine collé, like this one:


You see the 10cmx15cm image is a sort of blue/grey colour? That’s because there’s a 10cmx15cm blue/grey piece of paper, the same size as the image, stuck on.

Here’s how it’s done. Hover your cursor over the pictures to see the captions.

First get the bits of paper ready and glued.

Then ink the plate.

The bits of paper now need to go on the top of the plate, glued side up. This is the tricky bit. The bits of paper curl up, blow around, and don’t want to lie straight. I use tweezers. The bits of paper want to stick to the tweezers.

Put the bit of paper on the plate: glued side UP.

Now I carry this whole assembly, cautiously and slowly, over to the press. Sometimes the bits of paper blow off at this point.

Here is the assembly on the press.

Now it is ready for printing.
Here’s the print process. The print paper goes on top. It stick to the glue, which was on top of the bits of paper.

Now is the moment of truth:

Good. Now it goes on the drying rack and I repeat the process. Each print takes about 20-30 minutes.