Carborundum printmaking is a collograph printmaking technique in which the image is created by adding light passages to a dark field. Normally, cardboard or wood plates are coated in a layer of carborundum or screen, and the lights are created by filling in the texture with screen filler or glue.
Carborundum was originally used by printmakers to grind down lithography stones and is now used in Colograph prints to create gradients of tone and a sandy texture. It works because when the carborundum adheres to the plate the ink sits around it. It can be applied in a number of different ways:
To print a carborundum print, the surface is covered in ink, and then the surface is wiped clean with cloth or newspaper, leaving ink only in the texture of the screen or carborundum. A damp piece of paper is placed on top, and the plate and paper are run through a printing press that, through pressure, transfers the ink from the recesses of the plate to the paper. Very large editions are not possible as a small amount of carborundum comes off every time it is wiped down.