|Detail of gelatin print by Karen M.|
A lot happened in my classes yesterday, so I decided to talk about the daytime class today and the nighttime class a bit later...
Yesterday was the second session of To Tell a Story with Cloth. This is the session where I introduce gelatin plate printing (monoprinting). I find that working with the gelatin not only results in visually beautiful layered prints, but also seems to connect one to the sense of touch. While smoothing a piece of fabric over the gelatin plate to pick up the paint, you can't help but notice the cool, soft surface. It's really comforting and sensual...and feels connected to childhood.
|Karen M. really got "into" printing with the gelatin!|
At first, students can be a bit tentative with their prints but then something happens...a freedom...and the prints really take off!
After lunch, I decided to present a brand new (to me) exercise in cut paper based on some of the concepts in Molly Bang's wonderful book, Picture This. I gave each student a piece of white and a piece of black paper. I then opened up a package of construction paper and also origami paper. The origami paper packet consisted of 100 colors in 6" squares. OH MY!!! Such a feast for the eyes...I gleefully spread the colors out on the table :). Then I asked students to choose to illustrate one or more scenarios or emotions. The scenarios included: 1. A parent protecting its young from danger, 2. Two lovers dancing, or 3. Children playing on a beach. I also listed a number of emotions including isolation, anger, love, joy, etc. The "rules" were to use white and/or black, and up to three colors. The paper could be torn or cut and emphasis was on the use of color, shapes and placement to represent the scenarios in an abstract way. My hope was for students to connect to something inside...again in a child-like way... and really see how moving colored shapes around could result in an emotional connection or knowing.
|Amy P. : Scenario 1. Amy said that the purple color made her think of her mom..|
|Lee W.: Scenario 1|
|Karen M.: Scenario 2|
|Karen M.: The opposite of Scenario 2|
|Lee W.: Scenario 2.|
|Kathy F.: a version of Scenario 2. Representing her and her husband who have been married for almost 50 years!|
|Marine L.: Variation on Scenario 2. This piece represents her.|
|Marine L.: Variation of Scenario 2. This piece represents her husband.|
|Jan B.: Lifeline representing loves and losses. Jan said that this tint of violet represents death to her.|
|Jan B.: The Greatest Light Show on Earth! This is what her grandfather used to say when he sat out and watched lightening storms.|
The visual results and discussions about how students felt about the process and what students saw in each others work was really enlightening! I am now trying to figure out how to incorporate more exercises like this one in a future class.
Thanks students for being so open to the process!