“Giftedness is not what you do or how hard you work. It is who you are. You think differently. You experience life intensely. You care about injustice. You seek meaning. You appreciate and strive for the exquisite. You are painfully sensitive. You are extremely complex. You cherish integrity. Your truth-telling has gotten you in trouble. Should 98% of the population find you odd, seek the company of those who love you just the way you are. You are not broken. You do not need to be fixed. You are utterly fascinating. Trust yourself!”

Linda Silverman~Gifted Development Center Denver

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Lino-Block Printmaking Art Project

During our study of First Nations People and European Explorers, I took my class to the Harbourfront Centre here in Toronto. It has fantastic programs, including a visit to the Museum of Inuit Art to explore the history and beauty of Inuit art, followed by a half day of hands on lino-block printmaking. My students learned the techniques of relief printmaking using a soft linoleum block and created their own unique series of prints. 
Student draws a picture using pencil.  Make sure the lines are dark and the picture is not too complex.
Students start with a clean, dry block of "Softoleum". Softoleum is a soft grey rubber-like material that has been designed to make cutting easier and safer for block printers of all ages. Little pressure is needed to produce interesting effects.  You can purchase these blocks on line from art supply stores.
Student puts the picture on the lino block and turns it over.  They then rub over the entire picture so that it transfers onto the lino block surface.  Whatever they have created will look reversed..but when they create the print it will be reversed again.
This is a block of linoleum purchased from our board stock catalogue.  I prefer to use "Softoleum" so I purchase it from an art supply store.
One version of a bench hook students can use to control the lino block as they do the cutting.
Student "carves" out the design using the tool.  It is best to have them do this with a bench hook if you have them available.  Using a bench hook will prevent slipping of the block, and is safer.

The tools you need to create the design in the lino block.
A brayer which is used to spread the water soluble ink on the acrylic cut out below.
This is the water soluble ink you need to use.  I get mine from our school board  supply but you can buy it on line or at local art supply stores (such as Curry's).

I used small pieces of acrylic cut to about 8 1/2 by 11 size/

Roll out a small amount of printing ink (I use a Popsicle stick and put a blob about the size of my little finger nail on the acrylic piece) with the brayer.  Don't use too much paint or the print will not be clear!

One student created a block print of Sedna the Sea Goddess.

This student created a print of the element of FIRE.

Blue on white print.
Same block, different ink and different paper.

Ginger's Paw by a student in my class.

The Polar Bear by another student in my class.

Walrus by another student in my class.
I love this animal print by one of the students in my class.  It really jumped out at me!

I loved this salmon swimming upstream so much I asked the student to make a set of prints for me.

The students' finished work on display in the main office.
The prints look good mounted both horizontally and vertically.

The large, blank, black space, now says "Grade 6 Lino Block Prints".

This week the students will use their lino blocks to do some further printmaking in class.  I have the paints and the acrylic sheets and brayers so we can replicate the printmaking process in the classroom.  The students will have the opportunity to make individual prints for their parents/guardians.  These prints will become their Christmas gifts for their families.  I purchase good quality paper, small canvases and frames for each student.  We spend an afternoon making both prints to frame and to use as cards.  After the paint has dried, the students wrap their special gifts and are ready to take them home for the holidays!

1 comment:

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