Printmaking With Nature

Introduction: Printmaking With Nature

About: Science City At Home content is sponsored by MRIGlobal. Internationally awarded for “Great Visitor Experience” by ASTC and regionally voted “Favorite Family Friendly Attraction” by Visit KC, Science City one o…

Have you heard of printmaking? There are a lot of things around us that we use every day that are printed. I bet you can name some things! Art, yes, but also our T-shirts, bags, posters, and books! Each uses a different way to print! Screen printing helps companies make T-shirts and typesetting helps print books. Printmaking is a way to transfer, or put something from one surface, or thing, to another.

In this instructable we will be learning about a skill artists use in printmaking called, a collagraph. Collagraph is a big word meaning “glue drawing”. We are going to glue things, in this case plants and other items found in nature (or around the house) to make a collage. With this collage we will paint it and make an imprint. We will press our collage down on another paper to make a new picture! The parts of our collage that are not flat and have various textures will be what makes our new image!

Supplies

For this project you will need

● paint

● paper

● paintbrush

● Glue

● Cardboard

● Tablecloth/newspaper to cover the table!

If you do not have the above materials, remember you can sub in other materials:

● No glue?: use tape!

● No paintbrush? Use a spoon or your fingers.

● No paper?: use old newspapers, magazines, or cardboard.

Step 1: Go on a Nature Walk Outside or Inside! and Gather Supplies

Look for items that have fallen off of trees or are not connected to a living thing. I found a lot: leaves, acorns shells, rocks, sticks, and a piece of bark!

You can also go around your house and find things, straws, bottle caps, and other things. A good thing to remember is to find things with different textures or things that feel different than other things, some are bumpy, some are soft, or even scratchy. My rock that I found was smooth.

Step 2: Gather More Supplies

For this project you will need

● paint,

● paper,

● paintbrush,

● Glue

● Cardboard

● Tablecloth/newspaper to cover the table!

If you do not have the above materials, remember you can sub in other materials:

● No glue?: use tape!

● No paintbrush? Use a spoon or your fingers.

● No paper?: use old newspapers, magazines, or cardboard.

Step 3: Arrange Your Materials and Glue Them.

With the materials you collected from outside or inside, take your piece of cardboard and arrange your materials the way you want them to look. After you have them the way you want, take time to glue them down onto the cardboard. This is our collage! Remember, be creative! Play with texture! Add smooth and scratchy as you want to, the parts that are popping off the cardboard are what will become your new picture!

Tip: add salt, sand, or dirt, to create more texture!

Step 4: Paint Your Collage

Take time with one or more colors to paint your nature collage. You can use a paintbrush, but a spoon will work or if you have finger-paint, your fingers! You can paint heavy or light. It is up to you; different amounts of paint will make your print look different.

Tip: dab your paint lightly over and over the collage to create even more texture!

Step 5: Press Your Collage Into Your Paper

Once you have painted your collage, get your paper and carefully flip over your collage so that it is facing your paper. Gently lay in face down and press down every part of the collage onto the paper.

Tip: You can use the backside of a large spoon or a smooth rock to press over evenly.

Step 6: Lift Your Collage and See Your Print!

Carefully lift from one side of the face down college. Slowly lift so every part of the collage is off the paper. Set the collage to the side and look at your print!

Which parts were able to print and what couldn’t? Why do you think this?

Step 7: Keep Practicing and Experimenting!

The joy of science and printmaking is to keep practicing and to keep experimenting! After this print, I tried again!

I realized that I wanted my print to be smaller so I could print many times and that I wanted to use different pieces from nature, so I made my cardboard smaller, glued new pieces down and tried putting a different amount of paint on. Here are both prints side by side!

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    2 Comments

    0
    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    1 year ago

    Interesting idea making them into like a stamp :)

    0
    Sciencecityed
    Sciencecityed

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you again Ms. Bulnick. This is just one of the many educational and imaginitive projects that our Early Learning Team is working on for guests at home. Thank you for commenting.