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Printing Postcards (mail art)

Essential Understanding:
Art involves the transformation of subject, form, and material
Artists use multiple media to express intended meaning
Art involves growth of concept
● Visual arts connect to multiple characteristics of art
● The processes and philosophies of art and design inform interpretations in works of art
● Artists, viewers, and patrons respond to art from familiar and unfamiliar cultures and
assign intended meaning to works of art
● Historical time periods and cultural settings are interpreted in works of art
● Use artistic and technological media and expression to communicate personal and
objective points of view
● Materials, methods and techniques are used by an artist to communicate meaning.
● Apply an understanding of art processes and creative thinking to plan and create art in
traditional, unique, and inventive ways.
● artwork can be narrative
● each viewer takes something different away from the piece
Objectives/Outcomes/Concepts/Standards:

1 Students will be able to analyze the works of Rembrandt , McCarthy, Bird, Bruner, Leal,
Hokusai, and Bohac as they apply to the technical process of printmaking. (Applying;
Transfer: Historical time periods and cultural settings are interpreted in works of art)
2 Students will be able to describe and demonstrate the techniques of reduction, drypoint,
collagraph and silk screen. (Understanding/ Applying; comprehend: the history of art,
world cultures, and artistic styles influence contemporary art concerns)
3 Students will be able to properly use and demonstrate the use of editions and how to
number their prints.
4 Students will be able to identify the difference between relief prints vs intaglio prints.
5 Students will be able to use multiple printmaking techniques to create their works.
6 Students will be able to communicate an idea about themselves through the works they
create.
7 Students will be able to describe and define Mail Art.
8 Students will be able to define and describe Fluxus.

Pre-Assessment:
1 Can students analyze the works of Rembrandt , McCarthy, Bird, Bruner, Leal, Hokusai,
and Bohac as they apply to the technical process of printmaking?
2 Can students describe and demonstrate the techniques of reduction, drypoint, collagraphs,
and silk screen?
3 Can students understand how to properly use and demonstrate the use of editions and
how to number their prints?
4 Can students understand and identify the difference between relief prints vs intaglio
printing?
5 Can students use multiple printmaking techniques to create their works?
6 Can students communicate an idea through the works they create?
7 Can students describe and define Mail Art.
8 Can Students define and describe Fluxus.

Accommodations and modifications:

high students
low students

Materials:

plexiglass:
- ink (ink trays)
-newsprint
-plexiglass
-tools for cutting= nails/ ductape
-paper
-rubber brayers

Screen prints:
-stencils
-exacto knife
- wax paper
-ink (ink trays)
- paper
-rubber squeegee
-screens

linoleum: (reductions)
-cutting tools=
-paper
-linoleum blocks
-rubber brayers
-bench hooks
-ink (ink trays)
Collagraphy: (white on white)
-paper
-cardboard
-glue
-hot glue/ glue sticks
-thin found objects (textures, leafs)

Wax Intaglio:
-wax
- paper
- cutting tools = wooden sticks, toothpicks paper clips
- india ink
- razor blades

Resources:
Dickblick.com
wikipedia.com
http://painting.about.com/od/makingartgicleeprints/ss/art-printmaking.htm
http://users.stargate.net/~rgaier/Prints/AboutPrintmaking.htm
Dictionary.com
http://the-artists.org/artistsbymovement/Fluxus
http://www.creativeglossary.com/art-stylesmovements/fluxus.html
Mail art:
http://www.mail-art.de/frame.php?dir=about:about_whatisma&doc=start.htm
http://digitalmailart.blogspot.com/
http://mailart365.blogspot.com/
http://www.postsecret.com/
http://www.art.net/~kiyotei/new1/artinthemail.pdf
http://www.paacf.org/documents/EnvelopeBooks.pdf ******
http://gomakesomething.com/ht/mailart/mail-art/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluxus
http://www.1000woodcuts.com/Studionotes/Reduction.html

images:
Woodcut:
http://woodblockdreams.blogspot.com/2008_03_01_archive.html
http://www.nicholasbohac.com/prints.htm
http://www.vagabondjourney.com/209-0365-buddhist-prayer-flags-india-photos.shtml

Mexican Woodcut:
http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/1063-printmaking-from-revolution-to-establishment
Etching:
http://employees.oneonta.edu/farberas/ARTH/arth200/artist/rembrandt_self_portraits.html
Screen Prints:
http://danmccarthy.org/PRINT.DETAIL/99182.big.birds.html
http://nomediakings.org/doityourself/howto_silkscreen_posters_and_shirts.html
Collagraphs:
http://www.louisebird.co.uk/default.asp
http://painting.about.com/u/sty/submissiongallery/painting-project-collagraphs/Fern-
Collagraph.htm
Preparation:
-create examples of 4 different types of prints

-silk screen
-linoleum
-plexi glass
-collagraph

-gather supplies
-cut paper
-cut plexiglass
-make tools for etchings
-set up stations - have steps/ handouts printed out
- print out names of students in class

Safety:
-using the tools = cutting tools always cut away from self they are sharp
-don’t cut self
-using the press

Action to Motivation/Anticipatory set:


powerpoint - shows examples of types of printmaking
-discuss types of printmaking
-slide 1 Rembrandt discuss etchings and creating them talk about drypoint and how the image is
produced
- scratching a plate, cross hatching creates groves in the plate, it also creates a burr that
forms on the sides of the grove, this holds the ink. when the plate has been inked and the excess
ink has been removed it is time for the press. The plate will go through the press with the paper
and the pressure will cause the paper to grab the ink from the plate. this is how the print is made.

- slide 2 Picasso discuss reduction prints and the process


- the reduction process is caused by changing the original plate after you print the
lightest/ brightest color, and then doing the process again and cutting away the new places that
will save the previous color that is left on the paper. Doing this continuously will create layers of
the print and show different colors and these will create your piece. what you cut away will not
hold the ink.

- slide 3 Andy Warhol discuss screen prints and the process


-screen prints are created by first creating a stencil and then using a screen to push the ink
through the screen and the stencil will form a resist with the ink. In the spaces of their stencil the
ink will go onto the paper.

Ask the class “what are the differences and similarities of these processes?”
- with drypoint the ink is held in the groves that you create, reduction the ink is is on the
flat surface.
- both will print in reverse.
- screen printing is different, the image is not printed in reverse, and the ink is pressed
through a fabric.

- do demos of each process

Ideation/Inquiry:
- what is printmaking?
-what types of printmaking have you heard of?
-what are differences and similarities with the types of processes?
- what does community art do?
- what does a postcard say? represent?
-what is mail art?
-what is Fluxus?

How many of you have taken the printmaking class? (For the rest of you) Have you heard of
printmaking? What have you heard? Do you know any printmaking techniques?”

Procedures:
-Welcome the class and introduce what we will be learning.
“Today we are going to learn about print making. How many of you have taken the
printmaking class? for the rest of you have you heard of printmaking? What have you heard? do
you know any printmaking techniques?”
-Write on board techniques that the students say. At the end circle the techniques that we will
have the opportunity to use in class. woodcuts- linoleum, screen prints, etching=wax,plexiglass,
(not sure that the class will get collagraph)
-Show powerpoint have the students who took printmaking talk about techniques. (drypoint And
woodcuts) also have the class review the wax etching and the screen printing.

Powerpoint - shows examples of types of printmaking (Andy Warhol, Rembrandt,


Picasso)
-discuss types of printmaking (terms they should know - relief prints, intaglio, etching)
-Slide 1-intro
-Slide 2- Rembrandt discuss etchings and creating them talk about drypoint and how the image is
produced
- Slide 3- Dan McCarthy: discuss screen prints
- Slide 4-5- Collagraphs : Louise Bird
-Slide 6-10 discuss reduction prints/woodcuts: Dave Bruner, Fernando Leal, Hokusai, Nicholas
Bohac, hindu prayer flags
Slide 11-ask the class “what are the differences and similarities of these processes?”
○ with drypoint the ink is held in the groves that you create, reduction the ink is is
on the flat surface.
○ both (etchings and woodcuts) will print in reverse.
○ screen printing is different, the image is not printed in reverse, and the ink is
pressed through a fabric.
Slide 12- discuss mail art
- what do you think mail art is?
Slide 13 -fluxus
Slide 14-postsecret

- introduce the project that the students will be doing.


“with this lesson we will be sending each other mail art. we have mailboxes in the back of the
room that we will utilize. Everyone will get a name of another student in the class and you will
make a postcard for them utilizing one of the techniques that you will explore. At the end we will
all get our anonymous cards and we will respond to it, But before I handout names I want to do a
few demos for you.”
- do demos of each process ask the students questions as I go.
As one group I will introduce plexiglass etchings and reduction prints: (at the table I will have
handouts with the information on it for the students to refer to)
● Plexiglass- “These are created by scratching a plate, cross hatching creates groves in the
plate, it also creates a burr that forms on the sides of the grove, this holds the ink. when
the plate has been inked and the excess ink has been removed it is time for the press. The
plate will go through the press with the paper and and the pressure will cause the paper to
grab the ink from the plate. this is how the print is made. this type of printmaking will
print a mirror image. traditionally plates were copper, now zinc, acetate, or plexiglas”
○ use tools to make marks on surface. any marks on the surface will transfer to the
paper. Using techniques like cross hatching can help you make an area darker. an
important thing to think about is that the deeper you gouge the plate the more ink
it will hold and the darker the line will be.
● Linocut- “The reduction process is caused by changing the original plate after you print
the lightest/ brightest color, and then doing the process again and cutting away the new
places that will save the previous color that is left on the paper. Doing this continuously
will create layers of the print and show different colors and these will create your piece.
What you cut away will not hold the ink. like Etchings this will also create a mirror
image.”
○ this is a process that comes from woodcuts. linoleum is the material that we will
be using. it is easier than wood because it does not have the rain that wood has.
the design is cut into the surface with knives and chisels. We will be doing these
as reduction prints. who can tell me what that is?
○ applying ink to reductions use a brayer to apply the ink on the block press the
paper onto the block and press. remove the paper and let the ink dry before
putting another layer on it.
I will pass around a box with the students names in it and each student will pick out another
student's name. have the students begin working on their linocuts and dry points, I will take
small groups of students and show them the other two techniques: screen printing and collagraph
printing
● Screen Printing- “screen prints are created by first creating a stencil and then using a
screen to push the ink through the screen and the stencil will form a resist with the ink. In
the spaces of their stencil the ink will go onto the paper. We did screen printing with the
lesson hillary did on fibers.”
○ technique creates a print by using a stencil technique. ink is pushed through a thin
piece of fabric (silk, nylon monofilament, multifilament polyester, or even
stainless steel) that is stretched on a frame (like a canvas) assisted with some kind
of squeegee.
● Collagraphs: are relief prints, with these you want to think about college and textures
(strings, glue, leafs, beads, bubble wrap etc)
-let students begin to work for about 45 min then stop them to show the press and applying the
ink to the plexiglass etchings.
How to apply ink to etching:
-printing process: ink is applied with a dauber once plate is completely covered with a
layer of ink a tarlatan cloth is used to wipe away the excess ink after that paper (can be from
phone books) can be used for the final wipe. once that has been done the plate is run through the
press with a piece of dampened paper to create a print.
How to use the press:
-“Make sure that both sides are at the same amount of pressure on each side, if there is
different amounts of pressure you will be able to see it, because half of the plate will be lighter
than the other half, lower the press until it puts pressure on the blankets. Then you will flip the
blankets up over the top of the press and then you will put newsprint down under the plate and
then a damp piece of paper on top of the plate and then another piece of newsprint. and then the
blankets will go on top of that. then it will go through the press, turn the wheel on the side to
move the plate through the press, you will be able to feel when your plate is going under the
roller that creates the pressure, keep turning the wheel until you feel the pressure release, this
means that your plate has gone through completely, continue to turn the wheel a few more times
until you feel that your full paper is out. Pull back the blankets and remove the newsprint, then
carefully and slowly remove your paper from your plate. You will see your image. If the
newsprint does not have a lot of ink on it it can be reused.”

-editions: dry point is used to produce a small number of editions because the burr gets
worn down every time it is printed.

-announce clean up 15- 20 minutes before class is over.


- palette, palette knifes, and brayers must be washed. ink is water soluble
- tables wiped down and stations left neat.
- sweep and mop the floor.
-all wet projects go on the drying rack.
-wash off the ink from printing plates.
-put plates and dry prints in lockers.

DAY 2:
Work Day
clean up early 7?
- palette, palette knifes, and brayers must be washed. ink is water soluble
- tables wiped down and stations left neat.
- sweep and mop the floor.
-do the student reflection activity: (20-30 minutes?)

Student reflective/inquiry activity:


Students will reflect on the postcards that were created for them. they will have writing prompts
that help the students respond and reflect to the art work. students will think about how the artists
used the processes (If they think it worked or didn’t work), they will think about what the artist is
trying to say.
writing prompts:
● What emotions do you feel when you look at this work?
● Who do you think created this for you?
● Do you think it says something about you, or the artist?
● Describe this piece to someone you are talking to on the phone. who cannot see it.
● What process do you think the artist used to create this?
○ is it used effectively?
● Is there a message?
● did the artist have good craftsmanship (clean lines, no fingerprints, lined up straight,
etc.)?
about your work:
● Describe your processes and how they convey your message?
● Explain your idea
Post-Assessment (teacher-centered):
1 Are students able to analyze the works of Rembrandt, McCarthy, Bird, Bruner, Leal,
Hokusai, and Bohac as they apply to the technical process of printmaking?
2 Are students able to describe and demonstrate the techniques of reduction, drypoint,
collagraphs, and silk screen?
3 Are students able to understand how to properly use and demonstrate the use of editions
and how to number their prints?
4 Are students able to understand and identify the difference between relief prints vs
intaglio printing?
5 Are students able to use multiple printmaking techniques to create their works?
6 Are students able to communicate an idea through the works they create?
7 Are students able to describe and demonstrate the use of editions?
8 Are Students able to describe and define Mail Art.
9 Are Students able to define and describe Fluxus.

Criteria Advanced (5) Proficient (3) partially proficient Basic (1)


(2)
1. Identify the All works and Five works and Four works and less than three
works of artist are correctly artists are correctly artist are correctly works and artist
Rembrandt, identified. identified. identified. are correctly
McCarthy, Bird, identified.
Bruner, Leal,
Hokusai, and
Bohac as they
apply to the
technical process
of printmaking
2. Describe and Student is able to Student is able to Student is able to Student is able to
demonstrate the describe and describe and describe and describe and
techniques of demonstrate ALL demonstrate three demonstrate two demonstrate one or
reduction, four techniques. of the techniques. of the techniques. less of the
drypoint, techniques.
collagraphs, and
silk screen
3. Understand how Student is able to Student is able to Student is able to Student does not
to properly use and use and demonstrate describe editions show
demonstrate the demonstrate editions but does but does not understanding of
use of editions and editions and not number all number prints editions and
how to number numbering prints. prints. numbering prints
their prints
4. Understand and Student effectively Student identifies Student Student does not
identify the identifies the the difference acknowledges that know the
difference between difference between between relief there is some difference between
relief prints vs relief prints and prints and intaglio difference between relief prints and
intaglio printing. intaglio prints. prints. relief prints and intaglio prints.
intaglio prints.
5. Communicate Student effectively Student’s ideas are Student does not
an idea through the communicates and communicate an
works they create. idea through their idea.
work.
6.describe and Student is able to Student is able to Student is able to Student does not
employ Mail Art describe and describe, but not employ but not describe or employ
effectively employ effectively employ describe Mail Art. Mail Art.
Mail Art. Mail Art.
7.Are Students Student is able to Student is able to Student is able to Student is not able
able to discuss and Discuss and discuss Fluxus. describe Fluxus. to discuss or
describe Fluxus describe Fluxus. describe Fluxus.

Self-Reflection:
this will be written after the lesson

class teaser:
Dear Artists,
During next week’s lesson, we will be exploring the many processes of printmaking.
Throughout this lesson we will discuss the different techniques of printmaking by exploring
Dry-Point etchings, Reduction printing, Screen-printing and Collagraph printing.
We will also be exploring the world wide cultural movement of Mail Art and how it works
as a collaborative art project.
You, as artists, will be creating postcards that express something about who you are. Be
thinking about:
- What you want to say about yourself
- Who you would want to send a postcard to
- What you want to say to the receiver
- What emotions you want to show
For class you will need to bring your imagination and a creative attitude!
We have a lot of information to cover, so be prepared to work efficiently.
Have a great weekend!
Sincerely,
Janis McLaughlin

Hand outs:
Class Requirements:
For this project you will need to try ALL of the 4 processes (drypoint etching, reduction printing,
screen printing, and collagraph printing).
● You will create one postcard specifically for a classmate. I will also need one for
assessment (so you will need to make at least 2 prints)
● You will pick between your drypoint and your reduction to make an edition of at least 3
(meaning you will need to have at least 3 FINAL prints)
● You will need to make 2 proofs before your final drypoint.
● You will need to do at least 3 steps on your reduction prints (3 colors). Be sure to make
multiple prints, lining it up can be tricky and you don’t want to slip with the only print you
have.
I know it sounds like a lot, using your time efficiently is important!

Applying Ink:
PLEXIGLASS DRYPOINT
1 wipe off fingerprints and nonintentional marks with a soft towel
2 put ink on pallet (with pallet knife)
3 use brayer to move it around and even it out
4 apply to plexiglass with brayer (duct taped, cloth), cover the whole plate
5 wipe excess ink off of plexiglass with cheesecloth or soft paper towel until the only place
with ink is in the groves.
6 if your hands are dirty wash your hands (it is important to keep the paper clean,
craftsmanship is important)
7 make sure that the press is ready to go. (thick gray pad on bottom, newsprint, plexiglass,
wet paper, newsprint, 2 blankets on top, pressure is at about 25 (this can vary and will
be adjusted as needed))
8 wet paper and print

Applying Ink to Reduction Plates:


1 put ink on pallet with pallet knife
2 move ink around with brayer to even it out
3 make sure that the brayer is loaded with ink
4 apply to block, make sure that it covers the entire block evenly and generously
5 put on paper and apply pressure
USING THE PRESS
1 make sure that the press is set up correctly: thick gray pad on bottom, 2 blankets on top
2 lower the press to apply pressure, make use both sides are equal (at about 25)
3 pull up 2 top blankets and put newsprint on the gray blanket
4 put plate on newprint
5 wet paper, place on plate (one it is on the plate do not take it off and adjust it, it will move
the ink)
6 put newsprint on top of wet paper
7 put blankets back on top
8 turn the wheel on the side, do not stop turning it until you feel the plate go all the way
through
9 lift up blankets remove paper (print will be visible)

Definitions:
Collagraphs
Relief prints, where material is applied onto a rigid surface, with these you want to think about
college and textures (strings, glue, leafs, beads, bubble wrap etc).
ink can be applied IF a sealant is put over the objects. We will not be doing this ours will be
white on white. It will be an embossment.
Emboss: to mold or carve in relief, to decorate with or as if with a raised design (dictionary.com)

Etchings
etching is the process of using strong acid to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to
create a design in intaglio in the metal.
Intaglio: is a family of printmaking techniques in which the image is incised into a surface,
known as the matrix or plate. normally copper or zinc plates are used as a surface, and the
incisions are created by etching, engraving, or drypoint.
Engraving: is the practice of incising a design onto a hard, usually flat surface, by cutting
grooves into it.
DRYPOINT: is a printmaking technique of the intaglio family, in which an image is incised into
a plate (or "matrix") with a hard-pointed "needle" of sharp metal or diamond point.

Woodcut prints
formally known as xylography—is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an
image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with
the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with gouges. The areas to show
'white' are cut away with a knife or chisel, leaving the characters or image to show in 'black' at
the original surface level.
The surface is covered with ink by rolling over the surface with an ink-covered roller (brayer),
leaving ink upon the flat surface but not in the non-printing areas. (dictionary.com)
Reduction Prints:
Using the same block to print multiple colors, after each color the block is altered. These produce
a limited number of prints.

screen printing
is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil. The attached
stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink or other printable materials which can be
pressed through the mesh as a sharp-edged image onto a substrate. A roller or squeegee is moved
across the screen stencil, forcing or pumping ink past the threads of the woven mesh in the open
areas.
Screen printing is also a stencil method of printmaking in which a design is imposed on a screen
of silk or other fine mesh, with blank areas coated with an impermeable substance, and ink is
forced through the mesh onto the printing surface. It is also known as silkscreen, and serigraph.
(dictionary.com)

other types of printmaking:


-fish prints gyotaku?
-lithography

MAIL ART:

FLUXUS: