This was voted favorite project of the year by more than 75% of my students and it’s easy to see why. When you can tie an art lesson on pop art in with a trendy snapchat filter you know your teaching game is strong.
I started this lesson with a short video on Andy Warhol followed by a discussion on whether advertising is art or if you find art in advertising.
I did a lot of prep for this lesson, but being prepared really helped the whole process go smoothly. I’m not going to lie to you, I stressed out about this one for the whole week prior to doing it, and the whole time we were working on it. I was on high alert!
The first thing I had the students do was sketch their design on a piece of paper the same size as the rubber block. I encouraged them to fill the paper and make their design as large at possible for ease in the carving process. It is also VERY important to remember that any words or numbers you include will need to be drawn on backwards otherwise they will be backwards when you print.
Once they had a design drawn and approved by me I have them their piece of rubber. Then they used their pencil completely cover the back of their paper with graphite. They then placed the paper graphite side down on their rubber and trace over their design. It helped to do this with a colored pencil so they could see what they had transferred.
Then trace over your pencil lines on your rubber block with a Sharpie so that as you carve the lines don’t rub off. I prepped all my carving tools with a #1 blade (a very skinny v) and had them carve an outline around all their black sharpie lines. One they were finished with that they swapped their #1 blade for a #3 and carved their outline even wider. Then they swapped the #3 blade for a hook and scraped all the remaining grey about a 1/4″ down leaving only their black lines raised.
When it came time to stamp I covered all my work tables with butcher paper and set up an inking station at each one. I demonstrated how to roll the ink on the glass plate with the brayer and then roll it into their stamp. They then inked and proofed their stamps on the butcher paper.
At this point some were ready to move on to stamping their final papers and some realized they needed to carve some areas down further. I had a carving station set up in one corner for kids to make adjustments to their stamps before moving on to their final prints. I also set up a painting station in another corner for students who had missed that day.
I demonstrated two techniques for competing their final prints. For the first they stamped their rubber down into the paper and gently pressed it in before peeling it off. The other involved them placing the paper down on the stamp and gently driving the design before peeling the paper off. I had scrap paper available for them to try both techniques and see which they preferred before moving to their painted paper.
One they were ready they simply inked and stamped their design onto each of the nine painted boxes on their paper. I absolutely love how they all turned out so different. And I think the imperfections in the carvings made them even more stunning!