As a printmaker I usually make pictures using metal plates and acid, the acid eats away the metal and leaves grooves. I rub ink into the grooves and then squish the ink into white paper in a big metal printing press. Whilst I am in the Arctic Circle I won’t have any metal plates or acid so I have been thinking of different ways I can make prints.

This is a kind of printmaking called Collagraph. You just cut up bits of paper and glue them onto cardboard, I could do that in the Arctic circle and then when I get home I can print them on my small printing press in the studio.

Here are my first tries:


Draw the bird on a rock. I’ve stuck on a real feather too.

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Varnish it with Button Polish (yellow)

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Push ink into the grooves.                                           Polish ink off the flat bits.

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Put it in the printing press and wind the wheel to run the white paper and the inked collage through the steel rollers, this squashes them together with enormous force and presses the ink onto the paper.

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This one is a bit too dark.                                 This one is a bit too light.

I tried some scenes of snowy mountains and sea.


All those little dots are made by a special grit called Carborundum which you sprinkle on like glitter. I like the way they make the picture look like it’s a rocky landscape covered in snow.

An even more simple way of taking a ‘print’ of something is to make a rubbing of it. Lay a thin sheet of paper over a hard surface.  Remove the paper label from a crayon and then using the long side, gently rub the crayon over the paper. An image of the surface underneath will appear. Try rubbing the table, the floor, the sole of your shoe, a book, some coins. Some things make surprisingly good textures!

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Last week we made crayon rubbing pictures at Parkstone Grammar, the girls made some wonderful pictures of animals using textures they had found by making rubbings of things in the classroom.


Here is me doing some teaching, look at the amazing art room, there is so much to see!

I made this Polar Bear picture using the crayon rubbing technique.

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2 thoughts on “Printmaking”

  1. Wow! So exciting how many differebt types of printing there are!

    We loved having you at Parkstone Grammar School Beatrice, the girls really enjoyed experimenting with textures & printing & hearing about your upcoming adventure in the North Pole!

    Thank you so much for giving up your time to visit us!

    Miss Sturdy


  2. These are amazing – it’s so clever to see how you have made them. I can’t wait to try out some of the tips with the boys. Thanks B!


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