Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Block Printing Tile Patterns



I am a big fan of tiles and put this project together to challenge my older students. There are so many lessons within this single project. Planning the design, color theory, registration, organization and keeping a tidy printing station.


The design is drawn on a diagonal. I encourage students to have something carved away in the 2 opposite corners. The sides of the diamond need to have symmetry for the design  to grow as the tile is rotated during the printing. 


Start with a finished sketch that is drawn to size. A piece of paper covered with graphite will be our transfer paper. On the original drawing mark one of the back corners with a T, also mark one of the corners of the back of the block with a T. The T's need to be lined up before tracing the image for each color. We also make a small sketch of the full layout of the final image showing where the t's will come together. Its important to always start at the same spot.


For the first printing, start with the lightest colour.  Only the areas that will be white are carved out. 
Start by printing one print on an extra piece of paper. This is the "proof" print. It's where you'll see if there is enough ink on the block and how the colours look on top of each other before printing on the large sheet. You'll also see if you need to carve anything else away.


For the second printing carve away all areas that will remain yellow.


For the third printing carve away all that will remain blue.




Tools of the trade.


The finished piece! Measures 20"x 20" and will look fabulous is a modern white wood frame!

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