Printing with Found Materials

March 11th, 2012 by Diana

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To prepare for my recent Professional Development workshop, Possibilities in Print, I wanted to make a visual example of printing with found materials to hang in the Art Studio.  There’s an unlimited variety of interesting patterns and shapes you can make with materials that are free!  I printed with black and red washable tempera paints onto white Smart-Fab™ Disposable Art and Decoration Fabric but you could use any color ink or acrylics and any fabric or paper.  Smart-Fab™  is available through Nasco in several different colors and three roll lengths at a very reasonable price.  It’s a great alternative to printing on paper.

The first found material I experimented with was a regular 1-liter plastic seltzer bottle after seeing a pin on Rosemary House’s Pinterest board “Prints and Printmaking.”  One of her pins lead me to the blog post by Inner Child Fun about making flower prints with bottom of soda bottles.  Using Inner Child Fun’s  idea, with a foam brayer I inked up the bottom with red tempera paint and stamped the bottle across the fabric.

If you can use the bottom of the bottle, why not the sides too?  So using a sheet of adhesive foam, I cut a variety of shapes and wrapped them around the flattest part of the bottle.  When inking up the foam try not to get any on the plastic bottle or your print will not be as clear.  The tapered neck of the bottle made a good handle as I rolled it across the fabric.  When I ran out of ink half-way across and needed to reink, it was easy to look through the clear bottle and line up the shapes to keep the pattern continuous.

Other found materials you could print with:

Candy packaging

Packaging from glue stick 12-packs

The side of a tofu container

The bottom of various to-go packaging

A new Public Art Project, Prints, Patterns, and Papers starts on March 14 in the Art Studio and is free with Museum admission.
Use your handmade stamp to print a set of beautiful patterned papers while exploring color and design.

What found materials do you keep/collect?

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One Response to “Printing with Found Materials”

  1. [...] is my second post about printing with found materials.  To see my first post in this series, click here.  This post is all about making printing rolls made with PVC pipes.  This is the project for you [...]

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