Printmaking Project 2015
At Sacré Cœur, our Year 7 students completed a Printmaking Unit as part of the Visual Arts curriculum. We take the girls through the design process in a comprehensive manner to generate, develop and refine their artwork over the course of a term.
We are advocates of introducing students to renowned Australian artists to inspire their art making practice. This year, David Frazer was the highlighted artist for this project. He specialises in wood engraving, lino cutting, lithography, etching and painting.
Frazer started his visit to Sacré Cœur with a presentation of his works as part of our school’s Arts Speaker Series: Lunchtime Forums. He presented an insight into his ideas, themes, and working processes. Students were mesmerised by the stories he told about his life and how they influenced his works. We were all captivated by the skills he exhibited in the large collection of artworks that he brought in for the presentation.
Frazer ran a two hour workshop for each Year 7 Art class. This included a masterclass in printmaking with the artist. Students were taught how to create marks on an engraving block, which were prepared earlier by Frazer. The girls were taught skills and techniques to control the engraving tools that belonged to the artist. They inked up their engraving and printed their block on the printing press. Students were thrilled with the results from this introductory activity.
The workshop with Frazer motivated our students to apply the skills and knowledge they acquired to their own work. These included using repetitive marks in the carving of the Silk Cut Lino to create texture in their landscapes and movement in the sky. Students were also advised to leave some large areas black and to carve out big areas of white to create contrast with the patterns produced.
In the generation of ideas stage, students contemplated and visualised a tranquil space that they could daydream about and escape to; a place where they could get lost in their thoughts and delve into their imaginations. The key subject matter of trees, hills and skies represents their tribute to Frazer and his practice. Students used the time-lapse tool on iPads to record their carving process and marvelled as they watched what they’d achieved by the end of the carving stage.
The girls progressed to the printing stage with great anticipation. They inked up their Silk Cut Lino with black block printing ink and printed on printmaking paper, using our printing press. They were excited to manoeuvre the wheel on the press like they were captains of a ship. Each student held their breath as their print was revealed from the lino block. Relief, joy and appreciation for their wonderful outcome were feelings exhibited by our young artists.
A project like this tests our students’ resilience; builds their confidence and pushes their imagination. The task endeavoured to find the creativity and artistry in every girl. Developing a growth mindset in our learners is also at the forefront of our intentions. It has been a memorable experience for both our students and the Year 7 Art teaching team.
Head of Visual Arts