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re:[teacherartexchange] Block printing question


From: Sue Stevens (artsycat_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Aug 24 2011 - 18:08:22 PDT

OMG!  I have three of those cool woodblock on my dining room table which I just
brought back from India myself!!!  I was planning on printing them using
speedball block printing ink.  I really was going to just use them as historical
samples when we do lino block printing (I use safety cut lino, or softoleum,
rather than battleship lino).  Last year, we also did block prints using drywall
of all things (sheet rock)!  Contractors were finishing my basement and there
was a pile of left over drywall and it got me thinking!  I cut/snapped the
drywall into approximately 6 inch squares/rectangles.  You need to wet the paper
on the one side of the drywall - we found damp rags worked fine for this.....and
then peel and rub off the paper gently.  Students can then 'carve' into the damp
drywall to remove the negative space.  We used popsicle sticks as well as old
wood carving tools for this.  The wetter it is, the easier it 'carves', but be
warned, you can't really get good details because it's moist.  Let the block
dry.  Create a mixture of white glue and water (we did about 50/50) and brush
liberally all over the block.  We didn't do this at the beginning, and while the
first print worked out good, we found that successive prints actually lifted the
drywall material off of the block onto the print.  By coating with glue, it
sealed the drywall.  Roll on printing ink and print away!  Results were quite
good.  Can't really do a reductive print of several colours, but fun for a
single colour print, using waste material. 

I haven't been to school yet (we don't officially start until after labour day)
so I haven't been able to play with the blocks I bought......only got a few
small ones - there were so many cool ones I wanted to buy though!

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