Week 4: Ink Prints

“Come and go with me! What do you hear? What do you see?”

So sang the students of art class today as they time traveled to ancient Japan, learning the secrets of ink printing from “Stephanie-san”.

Stephanie-san leads the students in singing the "Time Travel Song".

Stephanie-san showed the students some artifacts from her culture, such as tea cups without handles, a fan and an umbrella. Students were interested in the objects and seemed inspired to learn about the Japanese culture.

Stephanie-san shows the artifacts in her time travel suitcase brought back from "ancient Japan".

Students observe the tea cup made by Stephanie-san.

Stephanie-san then showed the students how to make an ink print. Using an example of a dragon she had previously made, Stephanie-san explained to the students that they would be making their own Japanese “guardian” figure using the ink printing technique. First, the students draw a sketch of their guardian, then carve the drawing into a piece of styrofoam. Once the students carve their guardian into the styrofoam, they roll the ink onto the styrofoam. The ink drawing is then placed face down on a piece of paper, pressed, and then lifted to reveal the ink print of the guardian.

Stephanie-san doing the demonstration on how to make an ink print.

Students began sketching their guardian figures. The figures ranged from cats and dogs to dragons and magical unicorns.

Students then began carving their drawings into the pieces of styrofoam. This process was a challenge for many of the students because the lines needed to be carved thick enough to show up in the final print. They quickly learned to problem solve and carve the lines in a way that would print their drawings clearly into the ink.

As many of the students had never worked with ink before, it became a new and exciting process to work with a brayer instead of paint and a paintbrush. The idea of using only one color for an ink print, instead of many colors as in painting or drawing, was an experiment for students and one that allowed them to try new processes.

A student rolls red ink onto her styrofoam carving.

The student then peels off the styrofoam to reveal her first ink print.

Every student’s final print spoke about their personal interests and imagination. Some students chose to paint gardens where the guardians could live.

A student draws a garden for her guardian figure. She created "a unicorn with rainbow fur and wings to fly around the garden".

A students shows the final print of his guardian, a self portrait which is what "he likes drawing best".

One student's print of a guardian dog.

When student’s finished their prints, they were able to experiment with modeling clay.

A student rolls out several coils in multiple colors to make "a very long snake!"

One student began constructing their guardian figure three-dimensionally, starting by molding the head and the body.

Overall, it was a successful day of time travel to ancient Japan learning about ink printing and Japanese guardian figures.

…Stay tuned to find out where the students time travel next Friday!

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