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Hi y'all--

Just hoping someone will have a good idea for a craft/art project (more art than craft) that 2 competent 10 year old girls would find fun, that doesn't seem cheesy, but that can be adapted so a 5 year old could do it too.

Inexpensive would make it a slam-dunk win of an idea. I'd like it to be something not too hard but harder than, say, beading or foamies (teh shudder) or something. Also because I haven't put enough stipulations on it-- it needs to be complete in a single afternoon.

PLEEEEASE help me come up with something really unique and hellacool to do? And NOTHING papier mache...

So far potentials are:

lino prints
abstract subtractive sculpture (plaster of paris casts) (might be too hard)
Some kind of decoupage/make your own box/purse thing
collage -- found materials from nature into representational art. Maybe.
Batik? (dunno much about it)
In a pinch, jewelry.

Thanks everyone-- I really appreciate it!

*hugs you all like a buncha wonderful stuffed aminals or something*


Jun. 20th, 2008 12:49 pm (UTC)
I would wholeheartedly endorse lino prints--the Speedball blocks are soft and easy to carve--but the materials (blocks, inks, handles/gouges) can get costly, especially if you're buying for several kids. Plus the gouges are sharp.

The art museum here did a printmaking session once using styrofoam meat trays (kind of flat) as the blocks and pencils (or something similar) as the gouge. It actually worked well, and the attendees--all adults--really got into it.

I like the button people/flowers idea!
Jun. 20th, 2008 02:27 pm (UTC)
Ooooooh--what a cool thing to do!

I've never done lino prints either, is kind of why I'm intrigued-- I see your work and I'm always curious about it.

Dumb question: Could they feasibly draw a simple image, then use that as their template for carving instead of a picture?

And are there any special tips or tricks that you know-- things to avoid, or things to do to get a better result?

*huggles* Thanks-- I've missed talking with you, but I've been reading your blog religiously; it makes me happy to see all the art adventures you're always up to. :)

Jun. 20th, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
Sure, they could draw their own images. Most block printmakers do that, actually, and don't base them off photographs. (And even when I trace lines from photos, I'll change or "repair" things.) If you decide to use the soft Speedball blocks, the kids could draw right on the rubber.

Things to keep in mind:
--If you're doing letters or numbers on the block, they have to be in reverse for them to print correctly. If the kids encounter any trouble with that, have them write/draw out what they want on tracing paper, flip it over on the block, and scribble over the lines on the back--everything will show up on the block in reverse.
--The consistency of the ink you put on the block is key. If you roll it on too thick, it'll smudge or fill in the carved lines. If it's too thin, you'll get a faint print (which I kinda like sometimes).
--Also, if you're using Speedball inks, shake and knead the tubes a bit before you use them. The pigments sometimes separate from the water base when they've been sitting a while.
Jun. 20th, 2008 02:37 pm (UTC)
Also-- I was thinking about this...

What if they did lino print block techniques, but instead of using regular ink they used cloth paint and made T-shirts with their foam-block print? they could do small blocks and do it warhol-style, or a bigger single image..

And how do you do multiple colors to get a cool result, do youapply the ink directly to parts of the block or carve multiple blocks using the same source image but with different parts of it removed, or...? Any technique tips would be great so I don't tell the kids the wrong thing. (I'm going to experiment first this weekend LOL)

Sorry if they are dumb questions but it'll be MY first lino/block printing experience too, and, well-- I'm lucky enough to know an EXPERT. ;)
Jun. 20th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
I've tried printing using cloth paint, and the consistency has been too thin and didn't really work for me, but don't let that stop you if you want to try printing on T-shirts. I know I've seen it done, and foam would probably work much better than my blocks for that!

As for multiple colors, I sometimes do multiple blocks to make one image (like the "Iron Spires" piece on my cbuchanan.net home page). That can be really complicated, though. A lot of printmakers do it all on one block--they carve their entire image with, say, a sky at the top, print that, then carve out the sky, print another color with the remaining image, and so on. I'm not so fond of that method because it limits the number of prints I can make. You also can apply different colors of ink to different parts of the block--though don't apply the ink *directly* to the block. Roll it out first, and apply it to the block with the roller. Otherwise it'll fill in the lines and crevices. Hmmm--and I have seen someone color right on a block with markers and print that way, but I've never tried that.

I get a lot of my color mixes simply by layering prints on top of one another. I'm a fan of "ghosting," which means I take a block I've just used to make a print and make a second or third print. I get a faint, kinda transparent result (which you can see all over my Web site).

Hopefully all of that helps! And hopefully you'll all get hooked on block printing. :) I think my biggest piece of advice with block printing is to not worry too much about how your prints look in the end--because sometimes the rawer and rougher they look, the better they are. (At the art museum's printmaking event, some of the adults thought their prints looked like trash, and I wanted to frame them!) Plus it's a great medium to experiment with (like you want to do with colors, fabric, etc.), which is one reason I enjoy it so much. I want to see photos of what y'all make!


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