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!

Lesson: Photo Silhouettes (Traditional Meets Contemporary)

Credit: This was a joint effort (as pretty much all of the amazing stuff on here is) with my colleague.  This time, I credit Elizabeth Osborne for working together to create this really great culminating Photo 1 project.  

Summary:  Students create their own silhouettes inspired by victorian images as well as contemporary artists (such as Kara Walker) to combine traditional photographic techniques with contemporary. 

  1. Engage with a silhouette history PPT.  
  2. Students create a variety of "backgrounds" or small artworks to be used later when creating their silhouettes.  This includes Darkroom (texture photograms, enlargements, magazine prints, zentangle photograms), Digital (altered images using filters and adjustments, wallpaper patterns, etc), and traditional art techniques (magazine collage, zentangle drawings).  
  3. Students take digital profile photos and digital full body portraits, erase the background in Photoshop, use a variety of selection tools, and combine the layers.  

Here are some of the final projects!

Lesson: Repousse Element Square

This artwork created by D. Washington, was an honorable mention in the
Ilinois High School Regional Art Exhibition!
Credit:  Found these awesome embossed artworks on PINTEREST and had to give 'em a try in my Mixed Media 1 & 2 Class.  

Summary:  Students review the Elements of Design (that was learned the previous year in art), and apply all seven Elements within the artwork while exploring the medium of embossing.  

  1. Engage with History of Embossing PPT which includes examples, vocabulary, tools, techniques, and other types of materials that can be embossed as well as historical reference.  Students take notes and "doodle" in their sketchbooks.
  2. Elements of Design are reviewed.  Students explore examples of each in their sketchbooks.  
  3. 2 "Handprint" sketches (we joke about the thumbnail sketch and how this particular sketch needs to be larger and more "accurate," but still not a finished artwork).  These sketches play with abstract design and the use of design in artwork (as opposed to representational).  
  4. Students choose their favorite sketch and draw in a square where their embossing will be located.  (Inside box, using compositional techniques, will be the metal repousse, and the outside will be the drawn mat extension.)
  5. Students ink their design.
  6. Students lay their metal square under their sketchbook page and "trace" their design onto the metal using wooden tools.  The sketchbook pages act like a cushion, allowing the metal to be chased.  
  7. Students then work their design by embossing and chasing, playing with the relief aspect of the metal.  
  8. Once fully developed, the metal is laid on top of the larger mat and traced.  The embossed design is then "extended" in a drawing onto the mat.  
  9. Students practice using a color scheme in their sketchbooks on their sketches.  Once a decision is made, students translate that color scheme onto the mat and develop values and contrast using color pencils.  
  10. A window is cut into the mat, and the students mount their metal repousse from behind.  
  11. Students complete a reflection in which they have to redraw their completed square and clearly label each element used in their artwork.  On the back, they answer a variety of thought provoking questions as well as recall the steps to creating their artwork.

Don't forget the class critique!

...and, WA-LA!

This mat was created using chalk pastels.

This artwork created by J. Jeffries was selected to be exhibited in the
Chicago Public School All-City Art Exhibition.  The mat is painted with acrylic paint.