This was planned to be a messy day of printmaking. We discussed and looked at images of trilobites and ammonites and the techniques for the day were monotype printmaking, etching printmaking, and making a relief piece. The artist we learned about was Michael Mazur.
The students tried their hand at etching designs into Styrofoam plates and I also explained the difference between an etching and a monotype. For monotypes, they tried just additive and subtractive techniques with the paint on the plates rather than etching.
When they had made a couple prints of each kind, I had larger 8x10 glass plates for a bigger monotype.
We ran into some frustration here as the school-grade acrylic paint was really not at all suited for printmaking. I had used low quality acrylic paint at home for my examples and even *it* worked better than what was in the classroom.
I had requested oil based ink for this lesson, but I couldn’t find any in the supply. I would have switched to oil-based ink for the larger monotype at least, but since there wasn’t any we tried to make a go of it with the acrylic. It wasn’t very successful. This marks the third or fourth time that low quality art supplies in the classroom have caused me trouble and my students disappointment.
In any event, the students did pull some successful prints and while they were drying we began working on our relief pieces.
For this, the students drew a trilobite or ammonite (or dinosaur or eye or whatever) on a piece of cardboard. I then helped them make hot glue lines over their drawing (this for the relief). Then they covered the whole thing in aluminum foil and rubbed to bring their design forward. They added engraving designs to the surface and then a layer of shoe polish to create an antique looking foil plate.