The high school students were working on printmaking projects and it seemed like a lot of middle school students were very impressed with the work they were doing. We had enough materials for the middle school students to do a project, so I came up with a printmaking project that incorporated both simulated texture and unity.
I thought it would be interesting to try and teach students about diptychs and also incorporate an artist for the students to learn about. After taking a look at a variety of modern printmaking artists, I found one artist who looked particularly interesting: Lisa Brawn.
For the project I introduced the concept of unity and the artist Lisa Brawn. We refreshed our memories about texture. During the unity powerpoint I included a variety of diptychs, and we talked about how you need to use unity in order for diptychs to work.
The students were required to create a diptych using 2, 5×3 print blocks. They needed to use one of the techniques discussed to create unity between the 2 blocks, and were required to also create a work in the style of Lisa Brawn. To create a work in the style of Lisa Brawn they used the same visual techniques as her in their backgrounds-repeating patterns and textures around their main image(s).
Besides the requirements of the project, we talked about safety using the block cutters, and cleanliness while printing. I emphasized using newspapers when they printed, because many of them would forget to put some down before beginning the printing process. ASome other (minor) issues I ran into were reminding the students that the cutters should not be used to cut anything except for their blocks, making sure that they cut deep enough,being aware of the amount of ink they poured out for printing, and the amount of pressure they used when rubbing the block onto their final paper.
All in all the project was a success. Most of the students made gorgeous prints. Several of the students (the usual suspects) did not do the best job, but I think that they understand the concepts pretty well. There were 4 projects that stood out more then the others, and I was able to put them into a school art show at a local bakery. I was very impressed with their work, and they were extremely pleased to not only be in the show, but to have their art included in the poster (I made it, what can I say? I love my students!).