Teachers’ workshop a playground of art

This weekend, the 51st annual conference of the Fine Arts Council of the Alberta Teachers Association was held in Canmore, Alberta. Artists were invited to share our expertise and play with the teachers as part of their professional development.

LINDA COTE-FAC Workshop collograph skullI was invited to pass along my techniques for printmaking with children in the classroom. During a lively three-hour session, my awesome group of fine arts teachers created, experimented, laughed and made beautiful printmaking works of art.

Together, we learned three forms of printmaking: collagraph printing, relief printmaking and monoprinting. All incorporated methods that could easily be taught in the classroom with no sharp tools, non-toxic materials, found objects and items purchased inexpensively at any dollar store.

The methods were aimed at children from Kindergarten to Grade 6, but it was awesome to see how much fun teachers of a variety of ages and stages had with printmaking. That’s my goal: spread the printmaking love!

Here are highlights from our morning session. Thanks to the Fine Arts Council for the chance to share my work, and for all the enthusiastic participants who rolled with whatever I threw their way. You were awesome!

LINDA COTE- FAC Workshop collograph

Creating collagraph ‘plates’ on cardboard using string, craft foam, Qtips, paper clips, buttons and more.

LINDA COTE-FAC Workshop collograph base

Here is a sampling of the collagraph plates, waiting to dry before printing. The range of creativity was inspiring!

LINDA COTE-FAC Workshop collograph press2

To print the collagraphs, we created a printing press on the floor that mimicked a press with blankets. All that is needed is two boards, a fleece ‘blanket’, and the weight of the printer (standing on the floor press) to make an impression.

LINDA COTE-FAC Workshop collograph pressOnce the press is assembled — blanket, collograph plate, paper, blanket, board — participants stand on the press to create the pressure needed to create the print.

When I teach this to children, they love the interactive nature of it. My adult participants loved it, too!

Check out these collagraph prints!

LINDA COTE- FAC Workshop collograph1

We had a lot of territory to cover in three hours — the collagraph creations were made in about 20 minutes!

LINDA COTE-FAC Workshop collograph2Another technique we played with was monoprinting on glass. By painting an image on glass, and making marks with Qtips and a variety of other tools, monoprints were pulled from the glass to create a ‘one-off’ print.

LINDA COTE- FAC Workshop monoprint

Finally, we experimented with relief printmaking using styrofoam plates and rubbing the paper with our hands. For the entire workshop, acrylic paint and foam paint rollers were used, materials that are excellent when working with children.

LINDA COTE- FAC Workshop relief1This shows two prints in different colors with a bit of the plate below.

LINDA COTE- FAC Workshop reliefMore beautiful creations made with styrofoam plates and acrylic paint.

The workshop was inspired by my teaching printmaking to children over a number of years. A more detailed blog on this process can be found here.

It was such fun to pass these techniques along knowing that the eventual learners would be school-aged children. One of the participants said after the conference, “I’ve wanted to teach printmaking to my students for a while but had no idea where to start. I will definitely be taking this back to them now that I know what to do!”

And that is what it is ALL about!

7 responses to “Teachers’ workshop a playground of art

  1. A very cool post. It looks like everyone had fun. Do you find teaching these courses helps you find new ways to approach your own art?

    • Thanks for reading, Deb! I always get new tips from the participants about other ways to approach the same thing, which is awesome. But, I must say, doing the collographs and monoprinting was so fun and freeing that I definitely want to try more of that with my fine arts printmaking materials!

  2. Thank you for the exciting, inspirational workshop, I loved every minute and was so pleased with the manner you presented! While lots was covered, you found away to be professional and yet fun! One of the best sessions I attended!!

    • Thank you so much, Barb. It was a fantastic group to teach! And, we did cover a lot — kudos to you that I was able to get through it all with great success!

  3. Pingback: Printmaking fun with children | Musings From The Studio·

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