Using the Collagraph, a highly textured form of printmaking, as a means of experimental investigation of the border between two and three-dimensional imagery, Ashman creates printing plates that are deliberately fragile and quickly deteriorate under the pressure of the printing press. Each peeling away of paper from plate is a new adventure, with an unpredictable outcome. Each print is original and unique.
Experiments with the collagraph printmaking technique have yielded interesting and often surprising results. “I constantly challenge perceptions of printmaking as an art form concerned with small-scale prints and editions. Many of my printing plates are printed only once, with many printed fewer than ten times.” Even in instances where a plate is used to make more than one print, the print is never a copy, as the plate is inked by hand individually each time, resulting in colour and tone variations between the impressions.