Saturday, November 22, 2014

4th Grade Styrofoam Sheet Prints

Artwork by Jack P.

Since becoming an art teacher, printmaking is probably the medium I've had the most fun learning about and letting the students experiment with.  In this case, the fourth graders watched a fascinating video demonstration of linocut printmaking by Chapel Hill artist Bill Fick, then created their own pair of printing plates using 4"x 6" styrofoam sheets and semi-dull pencils to etch in their designs.  The only parameters I gave them for their designs were that the images should be related to each other and that they should fill up their backgrounds in some way.

In a second class session, I set up printing stations with different colors where students inked their plates with brayers (rollers).  During printing, I emphasized that using the right amount of ink on the plate and pressure onto paper for a good print take practice, and that the students should simply aim for improving their images with each successive print.  It was really gratifying to see this kind of learning actually happening as prints were laid down and upon examining their finished works.  For example, in the work below by Katee S., the first print is the one in the upper left corner.  The rest show how she quickly picked up the right technique.  Nice work, Katee!

Artwork by Katee S.

Artwork by Janiah T.

Artwork by Isabelle J.

Artwork by Delaney C.

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