CRAFTS AND DIY

Collagraph printing — fun for all ages!

Pim and I recently visited 15 secondary schools here in Amsterdam. It’s a huge job as every 12-year-old child needs to hand in a shortlist of his 12 favourite schools. Then, he or she is entered into a very complex poll which will determine the school in which your child will spend the next 4 to 6 years of his education. You can imagine that it took us a few weeks to do this! But, I’m happy to report that he’s now been selected for the school of his first choice.

Anyway — of course all of the schools presented themselves by bringing out their best. The craft rooms exhibited some very awesome artwork by their students. In one school, Pim and I were particularly impressed by a collagraph printing project on display, so I asked the craft teacher how they had done it. She gladly explained, and it’s quite simple, in fact!

Collagraph printing with kids
Collagraph printing

Here’s how it works.

On a recent rainy weekend day, we sat around the table and started glueing pieces of thick paper, cardboard, bubble wrap, etc on an A4 piece of paper. As a theme, we had chosen ‘underwater world’. (The school we visited had a ‘cityscape’ theme which was also super cool and which we also want to give a try!) There’s really no right or wrong here. The only tip I can give is to use strong glue, and not to use materials which are too delicate or tend to dissolve easily (like egg cartons, as we discovered!). Oh, and if you like to add text, don’t forget to glue the letter on mirrored!

Collagraph printing
Collagraph printing with kids
Collagraph printing

The next step is rolling paint over your collage. The best paint to use is ‘Block print ink’ as it’s nice and thick and doesn’t dry too fast. And a roller is handy, of course. When there’s a nice layer of ink on the collage, just put an empty sheet of paper on it, and rub it with your hands. And then… slowly peel back and admire the pretty result!

Collagraph printing
Collagraph printing with kids

Collagraph printing
Collagraph printing

You can keep gluing layers and details to you collage and make more prints! You can also use multiple paint colours, and add details by using a paint brush.

Collagraph printing with kids
Collagraph printing with kids
Collagraph printing with kids
Collagraph printing with kids

We had such a fun afternoon! What I thought was especially great about collagraph printing is that Casper’s results were as fantastic as Sara’s and Pim’s. Look at that proud little face!!

Collagraph printing with kids
Collagraph printing with kids

xxx Esther

PS Watercolour sidewalk chalk!


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