Monday, February 13, 2017

Heart Prints!


It is the perfect time of year to get thinking about someone you love! Second graders explored printmaking by creating these fabulous hearts.


The process is not intimidating at all, even for novice printers, because the technique eliminates worries about "just right" ink amounts- being too dry or too wet.


To begin, second graders had a flat piece of styrofoam, onto which they rolled ink and then pressed it on a colorful piece of construction paper.


The image above is a great example to understand the process:
1. Roll the yellow ink onto a big styrofoam rectangle, and print on lavender paper.
2. Wash the ink off the styrofoam, cut it into a heart, and ink with a new color- here, the artist used black ink next, pressing it onto the yellow.
3. Wash the ink off the styrofoam heart, cut it smaller, and ink with a new color- here, the artist used blue ink, printing it onto the black.

The artist of the work above stopped there, but artists could keep going, cutting smaller hearts out each time from the same piece of styrofoam until it's too small. The artist below cut out and printed seven hearts!


If there is too little ink, the artist can just try again before washing and trimming. If there is too much ink, it doesn't matter because there are no fine drawn lines getting flooded by the ink.


If you wanted to try this at home, you don't need fancy printmaking supplies like ink and a brayer, you could just use tempera paint and a brush. The styrofoam could be something you repurpose from the grocery store, as it's often used to pack meat or vegetables. Just give it a wash and use the smooth side to print.

These took two 45-minute classes with twenty-two students sharing five trays of ink, but if you try it at home it would be realistic to do in about an hour or so. It is a snow day here in Burlington, so if you have a little time today, go get artsy, and make someone a Valentine!


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