Printmaking can be a very costly medium to work with in schools due to extensive range of materials such as inks, cooper plates, rollers, papers 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 wonderful mono prints.
|Mono print using oil paint|
What you will need:
- A2 size sheet of glass, this can be a recycled piece of glass
- Oil paints
- Vegetable oil
- Paint brushes
- 200gsm cartridge paper
- Printing baren's
Mono printing is the cheapest and most interesting form of printmaking. By using a sheet of glass or perspex this becomes your plate for your print as well as your press. Due to many schools not having access and funds to purchase a printing press the mono print method works just as well without the use of one. By purchasing a large sheet of either glass or pelxi glass from reverse cycle gargbage which will cost next to nothing this becomes the mono printing plates for the students as well as the inking up area.
Oil paints are an essential item for mono printing and are used to create your image onto the glass. Like i mentioned in the previous activity cheap oil paints from a local two dollar shop should work fine and can be thinned out using vegetable oil allowing for miminal oil paint usage each print.
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 a minimum, ventilated area. Vegetable oil helps clean the oil paint up and can be used as a thinner also. These can be purchased at any supermarket it is ideal to purchase them in larger containers which will save your school money in the long run.
Paint brushes can be very costly when it comes to using oil paint and students. I advise other fellow teacher to put aside a bunch of brushes ranging in size in a container and label them as the class oil paint brushes this way students can only damage those brushes if they fail to clean the oil paint of the ends of the brushes.
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 it helps soak up the oil paints better and is ideal for when you need to soak the paper before printing. 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.
Printing baren's are ideal for mono printing when you do not have access to a printing press at your school. The role of a baren is to assist you in printing your matrix. It enables you to transfer your plate to paper using minimal friction. I recommend for schools to purchase at least 5- 6 class barens. Three of the barens should be large and three small catering for prints of all sizes. Speed ball in block 4 make an amazing baren and they last for years if looked after properly they can be bough at Deans art, Riot art supplys and Zart Art.
These are just a few cost effective ways of how to handle manage your art budget whilst teaching the students the art of mono printing. Feel free to add comments or more suggestions!