Friday, March 26, 2010
Art I'm Looking At: Teaching Printmaking
Today was the last day of what ended up being a six-week course in printmaking I taught at the Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts. I hope the kids (fifth graders) enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed teaching it (they seemed to). I was extremely impressed by the work these first-time printmakers did. We covered a variety of printmaking methods including etching, styrofoam "etching," collography with found objects, block printing, and linoleum block printing. The kids learned the basics of each technique; how to roll out ink and ink plates/blocks (which went reasonably well despite the cheap tools and inks the school was forced to use because of lack of a budget for anything better); how to print and title, number, and sign an edition; and matting.
Today, the last day, the students critiqued their work. The top photo shows the work of a single child using the styrofoam "etching" technique, a linocut, and a found object collograph in two colors. The second photo shows one of the most interesting linocuts the kids did. Entitled "Cat to Sun, Dog to Moon," this is by an 11-year-old printmaker that had had no prior experience. It's easy to underestimate what it takes to create a narrative work like this or the dexterity required to cut so intricate a design at this age. Very cool indeed.