Inking Plates, 1 per student, used as a bench stop for safe cutting
NO PRINTING PRESS NEEDED!!
My art department has collected a large bucket of a variety of stamps. I have my students grab a couple of stamps and some Colored Markers to fill up a page in their sketchbook with stamps. They may trade with their friends. They will identify negative space and positive space. Students observe how the stamp is the mirror image of the stamped. We fill out a vocabulary worksheet and I have them conclude that rubber stamps are a type of relief printmaking. We discuss a short history of printmaking and why we make prints ("to make more than one").
After vocabulary is determined, students trace a 2"X3" (5 x 7.6 cm) Soft-Kut Printing Blocks in their sketchbook THREE TIMES. Students will design three different stamps. The final step is to use a Sharpie Fine Point Markers to fill in all the positive space. Students then choose one stamp to do. Using a small piece of tracing paper students carefully trace their chosen stamp in pencil, filling in all positive spaces with graphite.
This tracing is to be flipped over (with the pencil side down) and carefully placed on the top of a new Soft Kut. Students will gently transfer the mirror image of their design to the top of the Soft Kut by rubbing with their fingernail or a pencil. (I also use the handle end of a lino cutter or a wooden spoon- Ken) The graphite from the pencil tracing will transfer easily.
I will choose 3 or 4 students at a time to demonstrate the correct way to hold and use a lino cutter. I have them use the metal printing plates as table blocks to cut on. First I have them cut a ditch outside the pencil-traced positive space with the lino cuter. This outline helps preserve the integrity of the shape of the stamp. They then remove the negative spaces in their design with the lino cutter.
Student will engage in a discussion about the Principles of Design; pattern, rhythm, and contrast.
Every student will print with black water soluble block printing ink first. I set up only 3 inking stations at one table (I have classes of up to 31!). This helps things to stay under control. I demo the correct way to load a brayer, the correct way to ink a stamp, and the correct way to pull a print.
Students will choose construction paper to fill with prints.
Students will print in one corner of their paper and, WITHOUT inking again, flip their stamp OVER and print next to the first print (the Ghost Print). They will then ink their stamp and repeat the procedure in a CHECKERBOARD fashion until the paper is filled. (See examples. There is ALWAYS amazing patterns that result in this process! My students LOVE this part of printing!! MAJOR discussion about pattern, rhythm and contrast!)
We repeat the process with process ink colors of magenta, cyan (blue) and yellow to create a Rainbow Print.
NOTES: I use printmaking technique YouTube videos in class as a starting point for discussions. (Videos like this one and this one) I will piggyback another assignment on top of this to discourage down time in the classroom. (Free watercolor in sketchbooks?) If you are unfamiliar with printmaking as an art, watch some of the videos. I would also Google printmaking. There have been some amazing resources on the Internet over the last several years, but the links change -- so I am leaving the research up to you!!
How to load a brayer for Rainbow Prints
In the inking tray place a strip ½ the length of your brayer of one color ink (magenta), skip a small space, place a strip ½ the length of your brayer of another color (cyan).
Load your brayer by rolling and lifting (NOT rolling back and forth!!!) through the two colors. Your brayer should have one color on one end and another color on the other end.
By slightly moving your brayer to the left then to the right the two colors will overlap and create a third secondary color (in this case, violet). This third color needs to be VERY, VERY narrow for the best effect.
Students must focus on the edges of the overlapped color. This is where there is the greatest change in the colors (Rainbows!!).
Important: Students can choose a vertical Rainbow, a horizontal Rainbow, or a diagonal Rainbow for their stamp prints. We repeat the same ink/print/flip/ghost print procedure that we used before.
Warn students that care must be maintained to keep the inks in the right place on the brayers!! They must not lay their brayer in the inking trays haphazardly.
Review the student work and judge on these questions:
Was the student successful in creating a rubber stamp?
Did the student identify vocabulary?
Did the student create new patterns?
Click on the images for full size
Book:Linoleum Block Printing - A step-by-step coverage, from printing simple monograms to converting photographs to block prints and printing in two or more colors. Lettering, silhouettes, borders, and other basic techniques, plus inks, materials, projects.