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Printmaking at Home

#LPWathome – Layered Space inspired printmaking to try at home







We’ve put together some fun activities to try at home, inspired by the work of Glasgow-based artist Rachel Duckhouse, whose work is featured in our current exhibition, Layered Space.

Check our Instagram feed and Facebook page on Saturday 2nd May as we will be sharing lots more images and tips!

YOU WILL NEED

An open mind
Some form of adhesive – a glue stick, PVA, double sided tape
Something to protect the surface you are working on – this could be a thick piece of cardboard packaging that you don’t mind getting scratched, a wad of newspaper, an old chopping board
A sharp pencil and a pen
A straight edge – if you don’t have a ruler, you could use the side of a book, piece of cardboard or a chopping board
A type of ink – In the LPW Studio we use oil based, system 3 ink and water-based akua inks. Either of these would be great, but water-based poster paints or acrylic paints will work just perfectly for this.
Somewhere to roll out your ink – you need a non-absorbent, flat surface, like a piece of thick plastic, acetate, a piece of toughened glass, a varnished chopping board, some shiny cardboard, plastic food packaging that can be taped to a piece of cardboard
Some plain paper / card – The thicker the paper the better. Card, cartridge paper or sketchbook paper would be ideal, or printer paper, brown paper or newspaper will work if that is all you have
Any collage materials you have – you might want to add decoration to your print, using pictures from magazines, any nice patterned papers, gift wrap, origami paper, stickers, washi tapes, leaves, flower petals, look around and use your imagination!
Tissue, Kitchen Roll, a wet cloth, a tea-towel or some newspaper
Materials to carve into – have a look to see if you can find any of the following around the house: wine bottle corks, polystyrene packaging, the shiny card / foil lids from takeaway foil boxes, cardboard from food packaging, eg. cereal boxes, biscuit boxes, sponges, potatoes, offcuts of any soft wood. If you have any lino, polyblock or any other printmaking plates at home, you could use these.
A craft knife, any specialist printmaking tools that you have, and scissors
A butter or palette knife
A roller – a craft or printmaking roller is ideal, but your could try a decorating roller, or a broad, flat brush.
A wooden spoon or rolling pin
A jar of water

HOW TO STEPS

1. Have a think and a rummage

2. Set up your print studio

3. Make your printing block

If you are using food packaging, takeaway lids, or polyblock, you will be able to draw directly on to your plate. You can make marks by scoring into the shiny side, using either a sharp pencil or a biro. You could also try gluing cardboard shapes on top of each other, to create a raised surface on your block.

If you are using cork, polystyrene, sponge, potato, wood or lino, you can cut or carve a simple image into the surface, using a craft knife, any specialist printmaking tools that you have, or a pair of scissors. The raised areas will be surface that prints, anything that you remove, will not print. Take care when using sharp tools, always cutting away from your hands and making sure that young people are supervised.

4. Inking your printing block

If you are using food packaging, takeaway lids, or polyblock
Spread the ink out using your roller or brush onto the inking surface.

If you are using cork, polystyrene, sponge, potato, wood or lino
Dab your printing block directly into the ink and check that it has covered the entire surface.

5. Printing

Place your printing block ink side down on your paper, being careful not to get fingerprints on your block or your paper.

If you are using food packaging, takeaway lids, or polyblock
Press firmly on the back of the printing block, using a flat backed wooden spoon, a rolling pin, a clean roller, or your hands.

If you are using cork, polystyrene, sponge, potato, wood or lino
Press the block into the paper, applying gentle even pressure across the block.

Use clean fingers or knuckles to peel away your block from the paper and reveal your masterpiece!

You can re-use your blocks as many times as you want to, you can either wipe them clean with a damp cloth, or simply re-apply the ink, and don’t be afraid to mix up your colours to make new ones.

You could hang your prints on a washing line to dry, or leave them flat to dry on a warm window sill.

PROBLEM SOLVING

My Ink is drying out

My print is messy

My print is patchy

I have lost my scored lines

My print is blobby

I want texture!

What else can I do?

Have fun making your prints! Experiment and let us know what works best for you. Tag us in to your photos using the #lpwathome hashtag.

If you’ve enjoyed doing this, and you would like us to share more online activities for you and your family to do at home, please get in touch!