Art and Design: Year 7 Print-Making
Preparing and equipping the Year 7's for their lino cut print project has been a rewarding challenge for me.
Juggling them all through the stages of design and cutting the prints out (and keeping their fingers intact, etc!) has been really intense and creative.
Trying out any new practical skill presents the early trepidation; the fear of not getting it right or feeling they can't do it, but with coaxing and demonstrations they began to love it.
I set up a handful of 'pioneers' in each Year 7 group to try it out first, working on a small trial lino piece. They led the way and then helped with the next group of 3 or 4, guiding each other through the process once the lino was cut.
Some unexpected characters shone through and took up the opportunity to share and help.
They took it quite seriously. Ben Walters has been stellar in his performance (a natural print maker) along with Freddie Tuson and they have encouraged less confident pupils to copy their lead. Their genuine excitement is infectious and they asked to try it out on a larger print so we have ordered larger lino tiles.
Daisy Bean has emerged as a strong, quiet leader, who is crystal clear with her instructions and also trying out a larger scale work, Harry Carr has been more focused and clearly wanting to keep up with the first wave of success and Ryan has shown a great curiosity for a new challenge.
Sasha has set a perfect example and inspired the others with her attention to detail. Watching each other's successes has really spurred them on.
They seem to like the physicality of the cutting, using sharp tools and the great feeling when the inked lino print is taken off and the new image revealed.
Working collaboratively on a large scale and being part of the Towner Schools project seems to have inspired the children and they are impatient to get the prints done and include their individual piece to the larger scale exhibit.
It is quite an ambitious skill which requires thinking in reverse and anticipating as the image will invert once printed. It is really interesting to watch the evolution of their ambition and their enjoyment of a fresh challenge.
Lino printing requires patience and focus, planning and refinement and I am so pleased to see them guiding each other and taking the project in a new expansive direction.
The new 'Big Plan' is to try out a much grander scale and a more industrial print process, working outdoors with a mechanical roller machine working in groups.
It has been a real pleasure to watch the children working with such team spirit and enjoy each other's successes.