Hey, Cut It Out! (aka Printmaking Homework Due 9/20/16)


Printmaker’s fingernails… the struggle is real!

For our next class, you have two tasks, one specific and one more general (but both important!)

The Pacific Specific Task

specific_oceanDesign and cut out a minimum of six flexible plates for use in monotypes next week. These plates should relate to our Project 1 theme PLAY. Use your research and thumbnails from last week as a guide. You can also develop any new ideas that zing into being as you work (see The General Task below). Your plates can relate to one another, or they can explore variations on the theme.

Before you start designing and cutting, it may help to think through possible compositions in which you might use flexible plates. Keep in mind that multiple plates can be used in a single print. They can also be reused (and moved) from print to print.

On the practical, how-to end of things, make your flexible plates from card stock weight material. Old manilla file folders or index cards work well. Do not make the plates out of regular paper, since it is too flimsy to hold up to multiple inkings, or from matboard/cardboard, since it is too thick to go through the press.

I recommend you start the process of making flexible plates by sketching out the shape you want on the card stock. You can then follow the drawn lines with an X-Acto knife. Scissors are okay for simple shapes, but X-Actos rule the hand-crafted world when it comes to intricacy.  X-Actos work best when you change the blades frequently so they stay sharp. Make sure to cut away from yourself and to put a cut safe surface under your project. A self-healing cutting mat or a piece of chip board (the stuff on the back of a newsprint pad) work well.

For more info on successful X-acto cutting—which as those of you with bloody fingers in your past know is harder than it seems—check out these short video tutorials:

The General Task

general_bonkers.jpgIn addition to cutting your shaped plates, spend some time this week thinking about what you want to print. If you are well prepared when you come to class, you can concentrate on printing, maximizing your time to develop a good portfolio for Project 1.inspiration_exists Of course, you have your thumbnails from homework #1, but don’t shy away from filling that creativity journal with more. Making work breeds additional ideas, especially now that you have a better idea of the look and feel of the different processes of monotype.

As you think about prints you want to create, consider what kind of PLAY related imagery would work well for a traced monotype vs. a subtractive monotype vs. an additive monotype vs. a flexible plate monotype. Remember that for traced and additive monotypes, you can use a drawing as a template,  so it may be worthwhile to develop a few thumbnails enough to serve as guide sketches.

Other Blibbles and Bloobles

Aside from a brief-ish demonstration on multiple drop monotypes, the entirety of next class period will be your work time. Come prepared by completing the two tasks above and by packing what you need for class. This includes not only your flexible plates and your Plexiglas plate (don’t forget that!), but your journal. I will be talking with you one-on-one about your research, thumbnails and sketches.

If you want to experiment further with textures feel free to also bring stuff for that. For pressed textures in a subtractive monotype, items with a raised surface are best: coarsely woven cloth, textured paper, corrugated cardboard, bubble wrap, etc. You can also bring items that will work as a stencil. These are things that you place on the plate and then roll or paint ink through to get a texture. For stencils, you want a flat material with distinct openings such as a doilies or mesh cloth. Obviously, whatever you bring for texture-making will get as inky as my fingernails, so don’t bring anything precious.

See you next week!

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