Today, I had arranged for our Region to go to The Hyde Collection, a gem of a museum. We toured the special exhibition, The Late Drawings of Andy Warhol, as well as a selection of work by Winslow Homer. Most of his drawings were traced from an overhead projector, which sparked some interesting conversation about the nature of art. This has been on my mind lately, due to some wonderful lines in a book I've been reading. (But I'll save that for another post. This post is about screen printing.)
But anyhoo - no photos were allowed in the gallery, so I can't share the exhibit with you (though we were allowed to pose with Andy). After our tour of the exhibit, we went to the art room for a screen printing activity. I had no idea what to expect, and doubted it would be something that would work well with kids. I was WRONG. It was easy!
We started by cutting a quickie stencil on freezer paper. (Is that what
it's called? I'm drawing a blank.) It's waxy on one side. We didn't pre-draw at all. We cut with
stencil knives, scissors and hole punches.
Hmm, I don't recall this step of the process (below) being demonstrated to us...
Then our stencils were ironed, waxy side down, onto a piece of thin
fabric (not real silk, I'm sure... just polyester). We spent a little
time at lunch afterward discussing a number of alternatives to the iron,
such spray glue, or making the stencil from sticky contact paper. I'll
have to try it out. Here's a museum educator ironing someone's stencil.
We put our fabric with the attached stencil into an embroidery hoop, so
that the stencil side was inside the hoop and the fabric was underneath,
if that makes sense. Below is my stencil, ready to use. You can see how thin and light the fabric is.
Then we put small dabs of thick acrylic paint onto our stencil.
Look at this paint! Isn't it enticing?
We squeegeed our design (using
scraps of cardboard as squeegees) onto a large piece of mural paper.
(Many people also made individual prints to keep.) In the photo on the left below is a museum educator demonstrating. We all quickly jumped into the process.
Below, the almost finished work of art! We are saving it to hang somewhere at our state convention in November.
Honestly, the only challenging step was putting the stencil into the embroidery
hoop, and in a short period of time we made a great collaborative
piece. This idea is definitely a "keeper". I can see potential for it in an elementary or middle art program, and even at the secondary level as a quick introduction to the concept of screen printing. Great workshop! Even Andy thinks so.