Tile Design- Printmaking Series 2

Break out the linoleum cutters and the bench hooks!

We get to start carving!

With the Introduction to Printmaking, they got a good idea of the process.

Our next project is a Tile Design Print.

In order to get a successful design we needed to do some prep work.

Basic symmetry is like a mirror.  If you were to cut the image in half (along a line of symmetry), the image could be folded and be a mirror image of the opposite side.  The sides are symmetrical.

For our tile design we are concentrating on radial symmetry.  Picture a pizza.  No matter which way you slice it through the center, all slices are the same.  Radial symmetry goes out from a central point to create symmetry.

Our tiles are based off radial symmetry.

We worked through some worksheets to help understand how radial symmetry and repeated patterns are often used in tile design.

Tile Design Worksheets

First we searched for the pattern that repeats.  Students outlined a few of those repeating patterns.

Next we looked at a full tile design.  We broke it down into the 4 repeated pattern sections, took one of those sections, and drew it isolated from the full design.  Simplifying it to black and white without tones of gray.

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Its sometimes difficult to isolate or picture what is going on in these patterns so this is a good exercise to hone understanding.

Now we’re ready to make our own tile design.

Students worked out a few rough 3×3 sketches before settling on a design.  I needed to stress that because these designs will be carved they can’t/shouldn’t have any pencil-tip thin lines.

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After they decided on a design, they used a 3×3 square of paper.  Tip: If they needed sides to match up, we folded the paper diagonally and marked the edges. 

They colored their designs in with graphite.

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The graphite allowed them to easily transfer the image by putting it face down onto the 3×3 easy carve block.  All they needed to do was rub the back.

They crisped up the lines with pencil so they could start carving.

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I stress, stress, stress to always carve away from yourself and keep your other hand behind the blade.

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The bench press isn’t really necessary because the block doesn’t slide much and the carving is easy.  But its good to practice and get familiar with it.  It will be a very important safety tool when we start carving linoleum.

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We check back over for smooth edges and to be sure that all areas are low enough so they won’t receive ink.  Especially being carful about the edges of the block.

We are ready to ink our blocks for our tile design prints.

Black ink is put onto the inking plate and rolled into a thin layer with the brayer.

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Using the inked brayer we applied the ink to the block.  The image is transferred to the paper like a stamp.

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Each block was a fourth of the whole design.

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We had a busy printing area.

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We printed our tile designs on both white and colored paper.  I’m partial to the look on bright colored paper.

Take a look at the variety!

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What kind of block printing have you done?

Welcome to my adventures in teaching Art outside of the public school system. I’ll share our projects and challenge myself and you to continually improve. So glad you stopped by!

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