Introduction: Printato (Printing With Potato)

Introduction - It had to be done....

Potato printing is a right of passage for many of us as we are children. So here is my tutorial so if you didn't have potato printing you can enjoy the fun and creativity.

Later on in this instructable I will try to convince you that I planned to print the initials NI, which I will claim stands for Nice ideas but lets face it I meant to print IN. It's ok to make mistakes folks that is how we learn. Now lets get to the lists.

Equipment and Material List

Potato (the bigger the better),
Knife (I hope I was supervised when I was doing this when I was little)
Ink (or tomato ketchup my ink substitute)
Ink tray  (plate)
Printing surface (in this case a paper towel)

Step 1 - Preparing the potato
Step 2 - Carving the design
Step 3 - Creative Printing

Step 1: Step 1 Preparing the Potato

Be careful when using the knife. If you want to create many potato printers then repeat i-ii for half as many potato’s as potato printers you desire (you can use both half’s, waste not!)

i) Take a potato and then peel it.

ii) Chop the potato in half with the knife.

Step 2: Step 2 Carving the Design

Be careful when using the knife. Feel free to let your mind go wild with creative ideas. Whether you are going for shapes or letters.

! Carving tip, remember for letters it will print a mirror image of what you carved out.

! Carving tip, big contrast between print surface and non printing surface leads to better and high impact prints. (Remember well defined is might fine in potato printing).

! Carving tip, I etched out my design then cut down and then cut into so the unwanted potato can be easily removed from your unfolding potato sculpture.

i) Etch out design with Knife.

ii) Carve out undesired potato pieces.

Step 3: Step 3 the World Is a Canvas

Printing, you can choose a wide array of colours and printing “inks” depending on what you are going for.
I just wanted to demonstrate the idea. Your imagination will make this your own, whether it is card making, shirt printing, decorating food stuffs or whatever you can think of.

Have fun experimenting with different inks traditional paints have been used to great effect.

i) Place your ink (tomato sauce) on to your ink tray (plate).

ii) Place print down your finished potato printer into the ink and ensure printing surface is covered.

iii) Place potato printer print down and firmly onto printing surface (paper towel).

iv) Lift potato printer from the printing surface and reveal the print you created.

Repeat steps ii-iv to your heart’s content, you may find you don’t need to keep adding more ink to the potato printer as often with some ink than others.

Most importantly enjoy yourself.