Showing posts with label printmaking lessons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label printmaking lessons. Show all posts

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Field Trip! Sawtooth Print Shop

I'm excited to share with my students and y'all another installment in that series of videos that I'm calling Field Trip!  I got the idea to visit contemporary artists and film them in action to share with my students. The goal is for them to see living artists creating and know that creating art takes many forms from mural painting to folk art to...printmaking. Which brings me to these two good lookin' folks, Chris Cheney and Nieves Uhl of Sawtooth Print Shop.
They are seriously so much fun!
I met Chris and Nieves at a workshop hosted by The Frist Center for Visual Arts. We had so much fun that when I was dreaming up artists to visit, their studio immediately came to mind. Not surprisingly, they were totally open to the idea and were gracious enough to carve time (see what I did there? "Carve"...get it?!) out of their busy schedule to show me just how they create their prints. They were so thorough in their explanations that I believe kids will understand their process. 
Personally, I just loved exploring their space and snapping photos for their vintage typeface. I was told most are purchased from former printmakers who no longer have a means to print or a desire to do so. 

 I loved how clearly they explained the reasoning behind carving backwards. I know I would mess that up ALL.THE.TIME. I don't know how they do it.
Both artists did their internship at Hatch Show Print which must-see if you are ever visiting beautiful downtown Nashville. 
I felt like I learned so much from this field trip as well! Seeing the process of how their posters are creating was like taking a step back in time. I think that showing this Field Trip! video will be a great introduction to any printmaking unit. 
Since we're talking about printmaking, I thought I'd add some of my favorite printmaking projects and videos to this post. 
You don't need fancy printmaking supplies to create great prints with your students. In a pinch, you can use styrofoam sheets, markers, paper and a damp sponge. If you've never tried marker prints, they are a game changer! First grade created these lovely prints with that method. More details here

Last year, third grade tried their hand at printmaking with these beautiful cityscape prints

For that, we did use ink but markers could have been used as well. 
Gelli Plates make a great printmaking surface as well, which is what we used for this Andy Warhol-inspired lesson. I've created my own gelatin plates and had the kids use those as well. 
Earlier this year, my third graders created these marker prints and used them in a fall collage
Fourth grade created these radial prints for Dot Day and had a ton of fun. 
Seriously, y'all. This poster created by Sawtooth is a kid-fave in my room.  

Special thanks to Chris and Nieves for the fun visit. Y'all are the best! 
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Monday, March 7, 2016

In the Art Room: Printed Cityscape Collages with Third Grade

What you see here is my final installment of printmaking lessons for the firsties thru thirdz. We started our printmaking units many moons ago and we've been having a big time since. You might recall my lil printmaking pep talk here...
You can check out the first graders printmaking lesson here as well as second grade's here. Fourth gradeland is currently in the midst of a collaborative/legacy/sculptural project that meant they were left outta the printmaking loop. I'm hoping to remedy that before the school year ends. I'll be sure to keep y'all posted. Until then, let's talk about these beauts...
 I am so in love with how these printed and collaged cityscapes turned out, y'all! The kids had a blast printmaking...but where really thrilled to see their cities come together. 
Lemme tell you what each kid created:

* After creating their own printing plate (demo'ed in the video below), each child printed a minimum of four prints on colorful copy paper. They were to do two prints in white ink and two in black ink (or the reverse of that, depending on what was available at their table). 

* The following art class, the kids learned about wax resist, warm/cool colors and watercoloring a skyscape. Each student created a warm and cool colored sky (with a sprinkle of salt for added effect!).

* Finally, each kid got back their warm and cool skies along with their prints. They then assembled their printed, painted and collaged landscapes with a layer of cardboard in-between for added depth. This resulted in TWO finished pieces by each student, as you see above!
This was such a fun and successful project for all students. Here's a list of supplies we used:

* Scratch-Art Foam (tho styro plates would work in a pinch...they'd just create a rounded landscape which could be totally amazing!)
* Speedball Printing Ink (or markers and water! Watch that first clip!) 
* ink pens
* colorful copy paper
* watercolor 
* oil pastels for the wax resist
* cardboard
* glue
I hope these videos are useful as I'm too tired to type out the directions (lazy much?). I have found that all kids can be successful with printmaking IF you teach them correctly and IF you are a stickler for proper printmaking techniques. I found that having the kids work in pairs really helped them hold each other accountable, even the littles. 
For example, we learned that you don't need a barren to rub the back of the print, just use a good back massage. No pounding necessary. Unless you wanna take a time-out break (eyebrow-raise, head-tilt, teacher-face).
 Every print pulled was magic. However, not gonna lie, the first prints are usually stinkers. Not enough ink, not enough "massaging" the back of the paper, etc. I told the kids to NEVER throw a way a print. If they didn't like it, they were to figure out what was wrong with it and learn from it. Blurry? Then you moved it accidentally. Can't see your lines? You used too much ink. Faded looking? Not enough ink. That's why we did a million prints. So we'd at least have a handful of successful ones.
In other news, I cannot take any credit for this perspective drawing or that amazing use of letter reversal. This kid's just rockin' it!
 Once all the prints were made and backgrounds painted, the kids were given a 9" X 12" piece of paper. They attached their paintings to the top and were told to CUT OUT their skyscape. Oh, the whining, y'all! "I can't cut out all those small shapes!", "This is gonna take forever!", "My hand is cramping, can you help me?!"

Nope. You do it. 
 And then they did.
I threw the option of adding a rectangle of cardboard between the cities out there. Most kids opted to do it as they loved the depth it added. 
I think if I were to ask them what one of their fave things this year has been, they'd def say printmaking. The magic of it is addictive!
Next up: rolling their printing plates thru the slab roller with clay! I'll keep you posted on how their ceramic cities turn out. Til then, what are some of your fave printing projects, y'all?
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