Monday, July 21, 2014

Comin' Attcha Live: Artsy Book Clubbin', Y'all!

My sincerest apologies for the very end of this clip (well, for the whole thing, really). I meant to edit out the part where I spin the camera around to turn it off. So, if you're prone to vertigo or dizzy-fainting spells, skip the end, kiddies.

Hi, cats and kittens! I hope that y'all have decided to join the Artsy Book Clubbin' Party because it's a-gonna be just that, a par-tay of epic book clubbin' proportions (cuz you know those book clubbers, they loves to party). Just so I can wrap my pea brain around who's in on the fun, I'd love it if you'd take a hot second to answer the poll on the right (sorry, smartphone readers, I believe the poll only appears if you are on your craptop). Remember! You can join this party any ole time, no pressure here. Shoot, I'll probably stop reading these books and completely forget about this whole thang in a matter of dayzz so, there's that. (Just kidding! Unlike my LAST Artsy Book Club book, I do hope to make it at least half way through these bad boys).

So, if you were brave enough to watch the above clip, I suggested that if you are reading Printmaking Unleashed, why not aim for 3 printmaking techniques a week? The reason I started this book club was so we could share our ideas and I'd love it if you'd share what you created on the Artsy Book Club Facebook page! This way we can learn from each other as well as the book. To get the ball rolling, I toyed around with 3 processes from the book this afternoon and thought I'd share 'em with ya here.
 If you are (also) reading Teach Like a Pirate, there are no "activities" (unless you count adding "arrr, matey!" after every sentence when reading the book). But I thought I'd throw some discussions questions out there. This week, I'm going to aim to read 1/2 of Part 1: Teach Like a Pirate! In Part 1, Dave Burgess breaks down the word PIRATE and gives meaning to each letter. I plan to read the "P"assion, "I"mmersion and "R"apport sections. I'd love to hear your thoughts as you read though these chapters. Whatcha say we chat about this:

*  The author is a high school history teacher (I think, I've not gotten that far!). Does this change the way you approach this book? Meaning, do you think that what he is presenting will not work in your classroom setting? Can you somehow make it work?

*  Dave Burgess begins his first three days of school without presenting rules, routines (well, not in the normal way) but by capturing the hearts and minds of his students. Has this gotten you thinking about a different way you might approach the start of your school year? What might you do differently with this in mind?

I'm so excited to hear your response! I do hope you'll take the second to drop a line...even if it is to say "PUH-lease don't make any more video clips. Ev-errrrrr." 
 Now, let's chat Printmaking Unleashed. Y'all. I'm a little, I don't know, bummed. I mean, I like the book a lot and the projects have me excited but...has anyone else had trouble rustling up the resources? I mean, the very first project called for Teflon sheets and I ain't got a clue where to get my kitten mittens on those. The projects after that also called for stuff I didn't have on hand which is saying something being that I am: 1. An Art Teacher and 2. A World Class Hoarder. That being said, I settled on three projects that I did happen to have the supplies for (well, mostly).
 Now, before we chat about this project, I have to tell you that I've decided to print on muslin instead of paper. I really have this idea in my head that the kids should create their own fabrics this year so that's why I'm on fabric and not paper. This first project called for lace and fiber paste (um, no clue) which I substituted for fabric paint. I first decided to use the lace like a stencil using a makeup sponge as my pouncer-thingie (what is that thing called, y'all?) and the results were pretty suck-tastic, if I do say so myself.
 In the book, the author recommends using an embroidery hoop to hold the fabric taunt so I gave that a go...
 And, again, suck-gasim. 
 On a whim, I decided to try this very thin and flimsy spider web lace I'd had left over from Halloween. I just knew this wouldn't work because I thought the paint would simply blob all over the fabric. Much to my surprise, it worked great! I really love the effect, don't you? And I think that the embroidery hoop is a great idea when doing this with the kids. So, even though I didn't have fiber paste nor did I go about this the way the author suggested, I think it turned out pretty cool. 
 Next up, gluing rando stuff to cardboard and making printing plates. Nothing really new here although the author did glue a buncha raffia and other odds and ends to her cardboard. I'm in the middle of a wacky weaving project (post to come!) so I happened to have all this fun leftover yarn for the cause. I hot glued the yarn onto the cardboard...
 And decided to use a stamp pad to ink them up. This worked great as it applied the color evenly, unlike brushed-on paint...
 Yeah, not so much. Not only that, but moving my brush around caused my yarn design to get all jacked up. And don't nobody like a jacked up yarn design, y'all. If I were to do this with the kids, I think they could glue their own design with yarn scraps (regular glue would be fine) and use large stamping sponges. Then, when finished, they could cover their designs with foil and create a cool repousee-esque piece.
 Now, this last idea is an alteration of what is presented in the book. The author has this really cool idea of creating a designed surface with puffy paint. Her idea is to allow the design to dry and then use that as a rubbing or printing surface.
Recently, on one of my fave blogs, Alisa Burke used puffy paint to print with so I decided to give that a go. I thought the effect was fun...but you do have to be gentle as the puffy paint does spread considerable when pressing on the back side. You can see Alisa's idea here, it's fantastical. 


  1. Ooohhh! I love printmaking! Interesting effects with the netting... what if you sealed the yarn with something so it didn't fray after a zillion kids scrubbed paint on them? I really like the textured look of the yarn print! When working with the kids I always think about how the prints will look after the materials are used by 200 plus kids all week! The beginning might be great but after a few classes the materials might get a little wonky! I made rolled heart stamps from recycled cardboard one year ( Pinterest) and they were awesome, but after several classes the heart stamps started to get a little mushy from all the kids pressing them down... I had to let those stamps dry and make some new ones to swap out. I experimented with Alisa Burkes's printmaking using a ziploc bag to create a monoprint and that was awesome! So usable in the classroom with kids! Have fun with all your printmaking adventures! :)

    1. Oh, sealing the yarn is a fab idea, thank you! In fact, I think she does that in the book...but she used something that I didn't have on hand (Collage Pauge?). You are right, using those stamps with that many kids would ruin them for sure. Okay, where's this printmaking with a ziplock bag link?! Must go find and play!!

  2. Hey Cassie, great job on the video diary! I have a suggestion for Teflon sheets. You can get the non-stick Craft Sheet by Ranger ($25 at Michael's in Canada 15" x 18") but they are rather expensive so... I use Reusable Cookie Sheet Liners, by Regency Wraps, Inc ($3 on sale at Winners/Marshalls 17"x 13") or non-stick oven liners ($12 Amazon 17" x 25"). They have the same heat resistant, non-stick properties. Cheers, Anneke.

    1. Hey friend!! Thank you for the suggestions, I so appreciate it! I did see them on amazon...just might pick them up there, thank you for the tips!!

  3. I would recommend checking out Natalie Chanin and Alabama Chanin for some great ideas on modifying fabric. She has a lot of techniques that would work well in the classroom, and one I have used before with a lot of success is watered-down acrylic in spray bottles. Combining with stencils or masking tape might work best with students. Also- I love your blog. Thank you for all of your great ideas!

  4. Well - I didn't get the books so I can't really participate this time around (it's been a busy month) but I also hate feeling left out so I'm going to watch and see what you all are doing.

    A thought about Teflon sheets - we use them under out work when making stuff from PMC (precious metal clay) so they must be available somewhere!

    1. I meant 'under our work', not 'under out work'!


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