by Katsushika Hokusai (between 1823-1829)
(Photo from Wikipedia)
For our creative art lesson this week we learned about wood carving as a printing technique. Mr. Hokusai was a famous Japanese artist who carved many scenes into wood and then printed them off on paper using ink. Wherever you see white is a depression that has been cut from the wood. The ink is smeared over the rest of the wood to create these type of scenes.
Our goal was to try to see if we could make waves like his using Styrofoam sheets instead of wood.
May I humbly suggest that if you try this you have the vacuum very handy – as in “on” while you are “carving” the foam? 😉
To do this project, you need:
Styrofoam sheets cut to paper size
art tablecloth or newspapers to cover the table
big jars of poster paint
water color paper (or other heavy paper)
a rolling pin to smooth the paint onto the paper
Here’s how we did it:
1. Every one got a sheet of foam that was about the size of the paper.
2. Using pencils and plastics knives, we carved waves or shapes.
(This was not as easy as it sounds since the balls that make up the foam aren’t all that easy to cut and the kids weren’t going to get sharp knives to play with.)
3. Vacuum all those balls up before they get everywhere.
4. Brush the paint onto your carvings.
5. Gently place your paper over the paint – BE CAREFUL NOT TO MOVE THE PAPER!!
6. Smooth the paper gently with the rolling pin or your hand.
Notice JitterBug’s carving on the table. In the back you can see HorseyBug smoothing her paper with her hand.
Here are the final results:
A fun bonus for us occurred the next week when we took JuneBug back to the eye doctor. We stopped in at the Springfield Art Museum and they have a great exhibit showing this type of art – step by step with the wood blocks to the finished product. Pretty cool!