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Re:[teacherartexchange] teacherartexchange digest: March 15, 2011


From: Mark Paradise (MParadise_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Mar 16 2011 - 06:23:56 PDT

Hi Stephen,
I'm writing regarding the printmaking contract you asked about. While I've never used one since I usually just give a careful demo to my 7th grade students. Last week, however, I was looking at a book of mine called Safety in the Art Room (by Charles Qualley, ISBN 0-87192-174-X, can be obtained from Davis Publications- and noted a simple printmaking competency test for students. He asks questions regarding what type of tools linoleum blocks can be safely cut with, what a bench hook is and what it is used for, how can a student tell if a cutting tool is dull, how to safely hold a linoleum block with your hand, and then some simple questions regarding printing press safety. I think that it would be a good idea to administer this test to determine the competency of your students. Students that do not pass the course, would need further instruction regarding the areas that in which they were deficient.

It is a good idea to have a few books on safety in the art room. I have a few that I have collected over the 30 plus years I've been teaching middle school.
Another title is: Health Hazards Manual for Artists, by Michael McCann, Nick Lyons Books, ISBN-0-941130-06-1.

If I may suggest, I have found a wonderful new printmaking ink that has recently come on the market in the past few years. I like it much more than the traditional non-toxic Speedball type inks. Those inks tend to dry very rapidly and make inking a block difficult in warm art rooms. I am no using Akua inks exclusively. The intaglio ink is fantastic. It too is non-toxic but dries much slower due to the fact that the vehicle within the ink's composition is soy bean oil and honey! It is a bit more involved in cleanup, but once the students get the hang of it, it's not a big deal.
Use Fast Orange hand cleaner, paper towels and water for excellent results! Akua inks can be purchased from all major art vendors. The Akua website is:
Mark Paradise

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