Monday, July 7, 2014

Lesson: Embroidered Printmaking

This student made a drawing, then scanned the drawing, and printed it onto the transparency
(and eventually we ended up with the iron-on transfers for best quality.
Credit: Inspired by these really cool embroidered artworks... and INKODYE

Summary:  Students explore printmaking through light sensitive ink combined with embroidery.

  1. Engage with a brief history on embroidery art (craft vs. art debate- totally fun with my mixed media kids!), and printmaking. 
  2. Students submit a variety of photographs (that ideally they took themselves!!!) onto google drive.  Some  time is taken to manipulate photos as well.
  3. Students print out their favorite images in black and white and glue into sketchbook. 
  4. In the meantime, students practice embroidery stitches.  For this, I put all of the tables together and we all sat together as we threaded a needle and practiced stitches on a strip of muslin.  I prepared packets of embroidery stitch resource images for students to reference and explore.  This strip was later attached into sketchbook and stitches were labeled by students.  
  5. Students used color pencils to "draw" in their stitches they were considering on their b/w images.  
  6. Images were inverted via Photoshop, and printed onto transparencies.  
  7. Inkodye was painted onto canvas (originally had planned on making t-shirts, pillows, and pencil cases) that was masking taped to cardboard boxes.  Oye... this is not the best... Would probably been better to stretch the canvas in a more traditional fashion.  Time and mula are preventative sometimes... live and learn.  Oh, and we did this in the office that has no windows.  Did I mention that the Inkodye is light sensitive?
  8. Once dry, (also possibly not the best... might work better if slightly damp?), placed negatives on top and exposed to light.  In my original samples, I brought them outside.  Of course, the week I did this with my kiddos, it rained.  The entire week.  So, luckily my colleague had received a special light box thing with a timer (what is this thing actually called?) and so we used that.  Some of these were complete duds.  Only about two of them worked out great.  Sigh... Also, note that you definitely have to wash your fabric in inkowash or detergent to stop the developing process.  I did this, but as you can see from my sample, it still continued to darken throughout time.  Same happened for that blue one with the K on it below- looked AMAZING after first exposure, but over time just got too dark.  I guess I should maybe have brought the fabric home and wash it in my washer instead of hand washing we did in class... )
  9. Plan B:  Printable Iron-on transfers.  Ok, not truly printmaking, but I really wanted them to have a great product, and didn't have time or money to invest in more attempts of the inkodye or other means.  This is something I plan on exploring and hopefully perfecting more over the next year.  
  10. Embroidery over the image using embroidery hoops.  Also not so great for the iron-ons.  The images cracked under the pressure of the hoops.  Sigh... again.  
Here are a few process pics of my sample...

Here's what the kids did, regardless of our trials and errors!!  
Really, an awesome project that I plan on reworking this year.  I will post when those pop up!

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