Glue-Relief Plaster Cast Printmaking Lesson Plan

Glue-Relief Plaster Cast Printmaking Lesson Plan


Welcome to the Blick
Summer Series of Workshops at the National Education
Association Headquarters here in Alexandria, Virginia. Hi. I’m Whitney, and I’m
going to show you what a glue relief plaster
print is and how to make one. Then you get to watch
the teachers demonstrate the project. Using plaster and
printmaking has been around for quite a while, though
it is a lesser known method. Traditionally, oil paint would
be used to make an image. The oil would repel the plaster,
making a very low relief, akin to lithography. While using oil paints
in the classroom isn’t always an option and
certainly not for younger age groups. We have adapted this
method using tacky glue, good old Aleene’s Tacky Glue. This is where starting
with a fairly simple image or composition is
going to work best. And because this is
essentially a double transfer, press the glue onto the plaster,
and then onto the printing plate to be printed. You don’t have to reverse tack,
store, or change leathering. To start with, I’m using
Dur-Lar Grafix Matte Film. The fact that it is
essentially a plastic paper allows the plaster
to release easily. And it’s thick enough to
maintain a box-shaped mold, while the plaster sets. To start, I like to fold my
edges in about an inch to half an inch. And this is going to be
the side of your mold box. I’d like to start here,
because then when transferring your drawing, you know
exactly what your margins are. And because the film
is semi transparent, you can place your drawing
directly underneath and trace it. Now, you can go in
directly with glue. And it’s really best to
use thick lines here, as thin lines just
don’t transfer as well into the plaster. Once as you have your whole
image traced and it’s dry, you are ready to cut
and make your mold box. To do that, I simply cut
in along one fold line, until it meets the other. And I do this all the
way around the box. You do want to make sure to tape
all the way around your edges here, the openings. You don’t want your plaster
leaking out all over your table after you spent all that
time making your image. And I’m ready to begin
mixing my plaster. I like to mix it on the heavy
side, more like a really thick brownie batter. Always be careful
pouring your plaster. You never want to dump it. For a box this size, about
5 by 7, 1/2 an inch rise, I want to mix 8 ounces of
plaster and half as much water. Pour the water to
the sides of your cup or bowl to avoid making
more plaster clouds. To pour it in the mold, make
sure you get all your corners. Use your stick to really
scrape it in there. And I’m going to use
burlap to cover the bottom. And this will give it more
durability when printing. And if you do happen
to crack your block, it helps keep it
together at least. Make sure you sort
of tap it down to really get in the bottom. Take your tape corners off
and give it a little tap. Don’t worry if a little bit gets
in the grooves or the cracks here. It will shrink down as it dries. It won’t affect your print,
but if it does bother you, you can always pick it
out with your finger or even the end of a pencil. To print, roll your ink out
just as you would normally. That looks good. To print, I simply pressed down. Peal off. You can print a number
of times with this block. For clean up, I suggest
printing a ghost print on a blank sheet of
paper or some newsprint, but I actually really like
the ghost print sometimes. They have more
nuance and variety. And sometimes, they come
out a little more pleasing than the perfect
original print there. But you can change colors
and make a number of prints with the same block. Whenever you’re
done smoothing it, you’ll be ready to press
your burlap right in. [MUSIC PLAYING] [SIDE CONVERSATION] Just pat it off. Being a part of
this organization and being able to
experience what it is to be an art
educator with other art educators around the world. At the convention,
the hands-on approach, knowing that I know
where you’re coming from, this is our struggle. So that’s what’s most exciting
about being a part of this. Well, we certainly enjoyed
making our glue relief plaster prints. If you’re interested in making
your own, visit dickblick.com. We have all of the
supplies you need, as well as a full PDF lesson
plan with national standards.

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