SchoolArts Magazine

FEB 2019

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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30 FEBRUARY 2019 SchoolArts Aileen Pugliese Castro I n Quebec, we are surrounded by maple trees. Maple syrup produc- ers process and can the sweet treat for consumers to use at home. The maple syrup can is an everyday object in our kitchen, much like the Camp- bell's soup cans in Andy Warhol's screen prints from the early sixties. Warhol has inspired artists to create art about everyday objects in popular culture. Our young students used an intaglio technique with Styrofoam and washable markers to engage with an everyday object in their lives: a can of maple syrup, or boîtes de sirop d'érable, as they say in Quebec. Printmaking I began by asking students, "What is a print?" We discussed how artists such as Warhol use this process to make a series of the same image. Then we talked about making their own prints from a printing plate. A c ylinder can be difficult to draw with the ellipse of the can, so I found that making a template of just the ellipse-like oval helps to keep the can sizes consistent. Students can then use a straight-edge to make the lines on the sides and one edge of the ellipse for the bottom. For the image on the label, stu- dents chose to draw related imagery s uch as the maple tree, a maple leaf, or the shack where the syrup is cooked, also known as a sugar shack or cabane à sucre. Some chose to add the French word pur, which means "pure" in English, as it is found on many of the syrup cans. Since stu - dents were writing letters, it was i mportant to emphasize that the image they were drawing would be printed in reverse. Starting with Drawing It's a good idea to start with a draw- ing for the print. Students drew their images with a pencil on paper and then used a dark marker that showed through the other side of the paper to trace over their pencil lines. Students placed their finished drawings face-down onto the Styro- foam, making sure they could still see t he marker showing through the other side. Then they taped the paper to the Styrofoam with artist tape to keep the image in place and to make it easy to remove from the paper and Styrofoam. Transferring the Image S tudents were ready to transfer their image to the Styrofoam printing plate. They used a fairly sharp pencil to poke tiny holes along the lines and into the paper through to the Styro- foam, making sure not to puncture through the whole layer. They contin- ued to trace their entire image with tiny holes. When the images were traced, students carefully removed their drawings and tilted their pencils on a diagonal to drag it to connect the dots and fully engrave their image. Adding Color Students added color using washable markers, working from the inside of the foam towards the outside, avoid- ing touching with their hands where they already added color. (The mois- ture from their fingers can easily pick up the color, leaving a blank spot or smudge on the final print.) The pig- ment from the markers acts the same as printing ink applied to the plate with rollers. It is important that you use washable markers for the next step to pick up these colors. Once the foam was colored, stu- dents carefully brought the plate to the p rinting station where they put it onto a designated clean-and-dry surface. Using a damp clean sponge, students lightly moistened the sturdy white paper. They placed the dampened paper onto the printing plate and, using their fingers, carefully rubbed the back of the paper with slight pressure. Grasping the edge of the paper, students gently pulled the paper up while holding it still with the other hand (in case the paper needed to be put back down to pick up the color better). If the color looked rich and vibrant, the student gently peeled the paper off the plate. Wash and Repeat While their prints dried on a flat sur- face, students again added color to the printing plate and repeated the process to make multiple prints. Stu- dents could choose to print with the same colors or choose different ones. After the first print is lifted, some of the color may still be on the sur- face or in crevices. A slightly damp cloth will remove some of the color. Be sure it is completely dry before applying pigment from the markers. When students were finished printing for the day, it was important to gently clean the plates with water so the col- ors would not dry inside the engraved The maple s rup can is an ever da bject in our kitchen, much like the Campbell's soup cans in And arhol's screen prints. E A R L Y C H I L D H O O D ENGAGING WITH EVERYDAY OBJECTS

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