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[teacherartexchange] Printmaking tips


From: Heidi McElroy (hmcelroy_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Feb 14 2007 - 15:05:03 PST

 My art 3's are in the midst of a long linoleum block print project. I have
discovered some timesavers when printmaking in which I thought this list
might be interested.
Students are using water soluble printing ink. Previously I had them ink on
old cafeteria trays. But I think this is better. We roll out ink on scrap
pieces of foam core board (donated by a local frame shop). At the end of
class, we just let the inking plates dry and use them again the next day.
Saves lots of cleanup time and we will throw them away at the end of the
project. I have one inking table and one printing table to keep prints
I have used recycled posters ( the ones that have the whole athletic season
on them and at our school are published twice a year) to cover the tables
for printmaking. Again I let that dry and we reuse it the next day.
Another use for these posters that are on very slick paper is they are a
perfect medium for drawing with Micron pens.
Beautiful calligraphy can be included on your print by making use of the
computer. I print out the words in one of the hundreds of fonts available
in a size that works with the image . Cover the letters with graphite from
an Ebony pencil. Turn this side face down to your linoleum and rub hard with
a spoon to transfer the graphite image. Your letters will already be
backwards, allowing for the correct image when you pull a print.
Incidentally, my students use Kleen Kut or safety cut instead of linoleum.
It is more expensive but you can make prints on both sides. It is easier to
carve and you do not need a bench hook. For tools, we prefer cutting tools
from Staedler ( not sure about that spelling). They are German made and
more expensive, but the gouges are permamently in the handles and never
dull. I remind my students they can only cut with one tool at a time, so
sharing tools ceases to be a problem. I plan to add a few new tools to my
equipment every year. Happy printing to all. Heidi in VA.

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