Printmaking can be a very costly medium to work with in schools due to extensive range of materials such as inks, cooper plates, rollers etc need to create a print. But in this activity i am going to demonstrate and share ideas on how to cut down printmaking costs and still produce a wonderful dry point etching.
What you will need:
- One container of black etching ink which can be shared around the class
By purchasing a bulk size tub of oil based etching ink you are able to cut down costs and limit the usage of ink used by placing the required amount of ink out when the students require it this enables the teacher to be aware of the amount of ink being used each lesson and prevents student wastage. Only a small amount of ink is required for printing such small plates.
It is essential to have at least one or two yellow pages books whilst printing dry point etchings yellow pages are used to wipe of excess ink off the plates. I cheap way to acquire some yellow pages for your art department is to post an add in the weekly newsletter as i am sure many parents have spare old copies lying around the home.
Instead of using expensive printmaking papers which can cost up to $8 - 10 a sheet i recommend using 200gsm cartridge paper. It is essential to purchase thicker cartridge paper as pre-soaking the paper before printing is a must to achieve an clear even print. Make sure to purchase cartridge paper in bulk as this helps reduce costs. Also look out for art stores mid and end of year paper sales you can save between 30 - 40% off paper at these sales.
Vegetable oil is a great alternative than using turpentine or other expensive oil paint thinners. It is cheap and non toxic which is ideal when working with students in minimum ventilated area. Vegetable oil helps clean the inks up and can be used as a thinner also.
These are just a few cost effective ways of how to handle manage your art budget whilst teaching the students dry point etching. Feel free to add comments or more suggestions!
Dry point etching using an acid tat plate