The children in our art clubs have been busy getting to grips with the idea of printing this week. We had a short discussion about printing before hand and many of the children realised that they had printed before even if it was simply using potatoes or hands. We talked about different kinds of printing and I explained that we were going to be making a printing block using foam shapes. I showed them how to play about with their design on an A5 piece of polysterene before sticking anything down. I encouraged them to use scissors to cut more interesting shapes out of the shapes provided. They thought about pattern and symmetry. Some children chose to create a representational image such as a flower while others preferred to work in a more abstract way. One of the best parts of this project is that it really allows children to do their own thing and put their own personal stamp on their work.
Once they were happy with their design they glued it down using lots of PVA. They needed quite a lot of reminders to use plenty of glue so that the pieces would stay in place when we came to printing. I checked that everything was well stuck down at the end of the session and added any glue to parts that needed it.
In the second session the children were given black printing ink and rollers. I use paper plates for this as it is so much easier to clear up at the end. I showed them how to ensure they get an even coverage on their printing block by taking the roller both up and down and side to side. They then lined their block up in the top corner of an A3 sheet of white paper and stood up so that they could use their hands to apply an even pressure on the block. They were very excited to peel off the block and see the results!
Once they had the hang of it, they made another three prints on the A3 sheet, thinking carefully about the position of the block. Some of the older children chose the experiment by rotating the image and achieved some lovely results.
NB – it is a good idea to have a couple of sheet of sticky-backed foam with you in case you need to make any last minute repairs!