5th graders are in the final stages of our reductive printmaking project. In years past, we have done self-portraits and winter imagery as our subject matter, and this year one of our goals is to make more connections with our art and use personal voice, so we decided to use our community as our source of inspiration. We used Google Maps to find places in our community that were meaningful to us - our homes, local parks, favorite restaurants, places of worship, etc. and we transferred the lines and shapes from the maps on to our styrofoam printing plates. If the size of the printed Google map wasn't big enough to fill the printing plate, we added a descriptive word or phrase, backwards of course! Here, students are tracing their maps with Sharpie, so the lines can be seen on the back of the paper for the backwards transfer.
Now we are ready for our first layer of printings - students selected 4 sheets of construction paper and pre-labeled them. Setting up the printing station is a big deal - we try to focus on "messy middles" and "clean corners", which keeps inky stuff in the center to share and our clean printing papers on the table corners.
The next step is to clean the printing plate and reduce the printing area. We used our dull pencils to fill in shapes and add more details that would enhance the second round of prints. We do this at the end of the first printing session. That way we are ready for printing round 2 at the start of the next session.
The only difference in this round of printing is learning to register, or line-up, the printing plate on the original print, as seen here:
Here are some final prints before trimming, labeling, and presentation mounting - I think they are so great!