Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Rhinoceros, woodcut {1515}, Albrecht Durer {1471-1528}

Albrecht Durer {1471-1528}
 Today we began our study of Albrecht Durer with a look at his woodcut, Rhinoceros. Woodcut is a relief printing technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with gouges. The areas to show 'white' are cut away with a knife or chisel, leaving the characters or image to show in 'black' at the original surface level. The surface is covered with ink by rolling over the surface with an ink-covered roller or brayer, leaving ink upon the flat surface but not in the non-printing areas.

Rhinoceros, woodcut 1515
Look at all the texture he has created on this rhino! Thinking of how it was made just makes you appreciate this piece even more.
There are many relief printing projects students can do. Older students can use an actual linoleum block and carve it with lino knives. Kids Artists  and Sea Kettle Diaries have tutorials on how to make lovely block prints. Below are a sample of how they turn out on several mediums using this method.

Also, One Crafty Mumma has a tutorial on how to make stamps out of erasers.

For younger students, the classic potato prints can be done to show the method of chipping away what you don't want, leaving what you want to print.

To prepare the potatoes, wash them and then slice them in half through the widest part. The easiest way to make the raised part is to use a small cookie cutter and push it into the cut part of the potato until it is all the way in. Pull it out and then, using a knife, cut away the part you do not want, leaving the part you do want raised. If you child is old enough to have good knife skills, then you can give him a butter knife and let him cut the potato parts away. Otherwise, you can do that part (with a regular knife).
Another option is to draw on the potato with a pencil whatever design you wish and then cut away the parts you don't want as above. Remember, though, that the less complicated the print is, the better.
Don't forget, too, that you can make these prints on all kinds of surfaces. You can use fabric paint, and make the potato prints on fabric.

For potato printing, it is best to stick with simple shapes.

You can use the shapes to make interesting designs.

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