How to set up the classroom for a printmaking activity
Many teachers find printmaking messy and difficult to manage in the classroom. From simple printing techniques as card printing to more complex techniques like linocut printing, the setting can be the same.
The first task that the teacher will be confronted with is establishing an appropriate work area. The printmaking process is best supported by arranging the classroom into four separate areas:
For constructing the block – where the students will be cutting and gluing at their desks. In the example shown, they are arranged in groups of four.
For inking the block – a table covered with newspaper and set up with four sets of foam trays as shown. Each set of trays is comprised of two trays—one tray into which the paint is placed to roll out and the second tray into which the block is placed while the paint is rolled onto it.
For printing the block – a clean, dry table where the A3 cartridge paper is placed and printed on with the paint coated block facing up while rubbing with the wooden Baren.
A drying rack is required for finished prints, but if a rack is not available, a clothes horse or drying rack with pegs would be fine.
Printing with paint
For printing techniques such as, foam printing, card printing, leaf printing (object printing) the best paint is a good quality heavy bodied Tempera. Tempera paint can also be used when printing linocuts by hand applied with a sponge roller.
Acrylic paint can be used when printing by hand, but a water spray bottle should be at hand to wet the paint and to keep it open.
For Linocut printing with older students and adults, good quality water soluble block printing ink is the best to print by hand with a Baren or with a press.