Friday, February 13, 2009

class 4...Vegetable Printing

Wow! What a crazy week this has been! Too much to do and too little time for me!
This week in the pre-school art class we worked with two different media but I am only going to talk about one for now, VEGETABLE PRINTING.

With the high cost of fresh vegetables this is not necessarily the cheapest of art projects but it does offer some interesting results. I am going to talk to you about how to do this and some other possibilities for printing tools. You'd be surprised by the variety of printing tools you have right in your own kitchen.

We worked with celery, heads of cabbage, potatoes, carrots, green peppers and onions. This sounds like the ingredients for a nice vegetable soup. Unfortunately, the vegetables were not edible when we were done. The instructor provided squares of paper, knives for the adults to use and washable tempera paint. The paper was unsatisfactory for printing as it had a texture which inhibited the image from printing cleanly. Most people would turn to washable paint when working with young children. This isn't necessarily a great idea for print making with vegetables. You see the vegetables have water in them so they water down the paints which already have limited pigment (the stuff that makes the color) in them . This combined with the textured paper really effected the results. The paint was applied by pressing the vegetable into a meat tray that had paint in them. Meat trays make great paint holders for this project.
The images are made by having the child stamp the image onto the paper in an up and down motion.

When I have done this with young children, I used regular tempera. You might ruin an old shirt but the colors are brighter and the images are much clearer. Sometimes pressing the image into the paint results in an uneven coverage of paint on the vegetable. Using a small paintbrush or a sponge brush to paint the vegetable surface gets an more even coating resulting in a much clearer image. A smooth white paper or brown packaging paper like that used for mailing packages is a great surface for printing. Remember that their hands are small so limit the size of the pieces of vegetable that you are using.

I've included some images that you might expect to get using vegetables. Since this blog is getting too long. I'll write about printing with found objects in the kitchen tomorrow.
In the first picture, the image on the left is made from a potato that has been cut in half. The middle image is made from an onion and the images on the right have been made with a hunk of red cabbage. The images in the second picture are made from a slice of green pepper and an apple that has been cut open. When sliced horizontally rather than vertically, you will find a nice
star-shaped image. The potato can also be cut into a variety of shapes. Here I have cut a heart shape out of it. It's a great way to print cards or wrapping paper for special occasions.

1 comment:

  1. I remember using potato-stamps quite often when I was little! I haven't done that in a long time. I need to join you and Leah sometime when you are playing with paint.