We want to stay connected and creative with our community during these unprecedented times.
Our first opportunity we are sharing is our Virtual Pop-Up. For the next few weeks, arts instructor Elisabeth Herrera is sharing virtual activities to keep you inspired. Follow along with each activity and share your creations with us on Instagram (@atlantacontemporary) with the hashtag #ACMAKES
We look forward to seeing everyone’s creations and continuing the excellent conversations we usually have in person in a digital space.
This week’s art making activity: collagraph prints using reclaimed materials
Let’s explore printmaking processes! A collagraph print is made on a printing plate of layered shapes and textures. The printing plate can be printed numerous times to create multiple prints.
Why use reclaimed materials?
Using materials you already have can be an empowering part of an art making experience.
Social distancing and self-isolating have so many people spending more time within their own homes and paying closer attention to mundane items that may have been previously overlooked
A collagraph print is made on a printing plate of layered shapes and textures. The printing plate can be printed numerous times to create multiple prints.
• Using materials you already have can be an empowering part of an art making experience. • Social distancing and self-isolating have so many people spending more time within their own homes and paying closer attention to mundane items that may have been previously overlooked. • Our exhibition The Life and Death of Charles Williamsexplores his masterful handling of mundane items for art making
Materials for creating collagraphs
• Paperboard (like a cereal box) • Textured materials (bubble wrap, sandpaper, cardboard) • Paint (acrylic, tempera, printing ink, fingerpaint, etc.) • Scissors • Glue (gluestick, liquid glue, hot glue, etc.) • Brayer (if you don’t have a rubber roller you can use a wide paintbrush to spread a thin even layer of paint onto your plate)
Click here to watch a video tutorial of the collagraph process.
Step 1: Create your composition • Begin by cutting out the background piece of paperboard which will be the base of your printing plate. Just like Jaime Keiter, there’s no need to be confined by a rectangular composition. • Create your composition by gluing each element to the background piece. Think about how you’d like each layer of shapes and textures to interact with each other.
Step 2: Ink the collagraph plate • Using a brayer (or trim roller, or flat wide paintbrush) roll out a thin layer of paint on a paper plate. • Apply an even layer of paint to the entirety of your collagraph plate. • Depending on the type of paint you are using you may want to work fairly quickly to avoid paint drying.
**Watercolor is not appropriate for this process, however, most other paints work well
**Having trouble getting an even layer of paint? Add a tablespoon of white liquid glue to increase viscosity of paint.
Step 3: Print your collagraph
• On a clean surface, place a piece of paper on top of your inked collagraph plate.
**Once you’ve placed your paper on top of the plate DO NOT move the paper, this will compromise your print.
• Apply even pressure across the entire plate. • Use your hand to rub evenly to transfer the ink from the plate to the paper.
Step 4: Reveal your print and repeat • Peel back the paper carefully to reveal your print. • Want to make changes? Glue on additional pieces or revise your composition and print again.
**Uneven print? If some areas seem faded try increasing pressure to help the transfer of ink.
• Repeat the process to create a series of prints. • Collagraphs can become great greeting cards, gift wrap, coordinating labels, and so many other functional works of art.
Share your creations! We would love to see your collagraph prints or other works inspired by our amazing studio artist Jaime Keiter. Share your creations with us using the tag: #ACMakes on social media.
Thanks for joining us and be sure to check out our additional resources on atlantacontemporary.org
Shapes and Textures at Atlanta Contemporary
Interested in artworks that explore arrangements of shapes and textures? Check studio artists Jaime Keiter and Mark Brotherton on our website.
Jaime Keiter: Compositions in Layers of Shapes
Atlanta Contemporary resident studio artist Jaime Keiter’s process begins with cutting geometric and organic shapes from porcelain slabs, underglazing patterns and textures, and then finishing each tile with a variety of different mid-fire glazes including copper washes, turquoise, creamy pastels, and bold primaries. These elements are then collaged together to create the sculptures.
Her works are inspired by the Bauhaus
art of 1920’s Pre-War Germany and the Postmodern Memphis design movement of the 1980’s. She is interested in the intersection both of these movements have between fine art and craft that combine to make functional and non-functional design objects.
Kandinsky was know for his abstract paintings and was a prominent figure in the Bauhaus movement. “The Bauhaus (1919-1933) aimed to reunite fine art and functional design, creating practical objects with the soul of artworks.”
Right: Publicity still from 'Pee Wee's Playhouse,' CBS TV's comedy starring Paul Reubens and S Epatha Merkerson, 1986.John D. Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive/Getty Images
The "Pee Wee's Playhouse" set was heavily inspired by Memphis design. The Memphis design movement of the 1980s is characterized by abstract shapes, angular furniture, graphic patterns, pastel colors, and bold interior designs.
Explore amazing 80’s flashbacks of Italian Memphis design here.
Collagraph Printing in Art History
Above: Glen Alps, Collagraph #1, 1956, color collagraph on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum
National Core Arts Standards
• VA:Cr1.1.5a: Combine ideas to generate an innovative idea for art-making • VA:Cr2.1.5a: Experiment and develop skills in multiple art-making techniques and approaches through practice. • VA:Re.7.1.5a: Compare one's own interpretation of a work of art with the interpretation of others • VA:Cn10.1.5.a: Apply formal and conceptual vocabularies of art and design to view surroundings in new ways through artmaking.
Vocabulary • Collagraph: print made on a printing plate of layered shapes and textures • Printmaking: artmaking process, usually on paper, in which multiples of the same work are created • Printing plate: surface on which compositions are made for printmaking • Shape: closed line; can be geometric (circle, square, etc.) or organic • Texture: the way a surface feels or looks as it might feel • Composition: placement of visual elements within a work of art • Background: area around the composition; or the area appearing to be farthest away from the viewer • Brayer: rubber roller usually used in a variety of printmaking processes
Elisabeth Herrera-Very is an art educator working in Atlanta. After nearly a decade as a public school visual arts teacher she shifted her focus to community engagement and museum education. As a teaching artist she develops programming that provides inclusive, thoughtful, and relevant art experiences for all participants. Her programming at Atlanta Contemporary encourages patrons of all ages to explore their own creative process through contemporary art making practices and thematic instruction.