Once a month a parent leads an art lesson for my daughter's first grade class. We trade off who runs the lessons with other parents assisting, in December it was my turn to lead a lesson on print making with foam blocks.
During my run through of the lesson at home our results were just ok. The project was to firmly trace a design onto a small piece of foam; then using that to create a pattern. I should of known that if it was a little struggle at home in a controlled environment, a classroom of first graders wouldn't be better.
The lesson ended up going well, if chaotic, the kids really enjoyed it – getting messy and playing with paint is always a fun. Their art work turned out pretty cool, not necessarily the nice patterned prints I envisioned but their own great creations. Afterwards, I set out to try again and started down the rabbit hole of block print making.
My initial goal was simply to make a nice clean patterned print. I switched from foam to rubber stamps and bought a very basic carving kit. I won't bore you with all the iterations; basically as I looked into it more and saw so many amazing prints the deeper I went.
I like the process. I'm still learning, how to carve, how to print, and still getting mediocre results, but they are my results. It is creating something physical that I cut and manipulate with my own hands. There are many steps from drawing and transferring an image, to carving the block, to creating prints. My results are inconsistent. I could just use my computer and printer and create as many perfect copies as I want.
However, there is a zen quality to putting in the time and creating something by hand. I'm enjoying it, and looking forward to seeing where it goes.
If you want to follow along, check out @mkaz365 on Instagram where I am posting daily work.