Search form

The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

Accessibility Information

Visit the carle


Making Art Together

Printmaking at Fort River

Diana, Meghan and I all had the privilege of teaching a series of art classes through our contract with Amherst Public Elementary schools.  I spent four weeks going to Fort River to teach some of the museum's curriculum to a group of very creative students...  This type of teaching is a great way to introduce our programs to students who have not been to The Museum, but I also loved meeting students who could share their memories of going to The Carle.  I had several children that could tell me about seeing artworks in the galleries and visiting The Studio to make their own piece of art to take home. The projects were different each week, from using stamps to make textured paper, to making a collage house with found objects and experimenting with bookmaking techniques. You can see Diana's earlier post about her bookmaking lesson here.  For the last session we got to explore how to make monotype prints.  Printmaking is one of my personal favorite art forms and it is always a pleasure to see a child pull their first print off the press.


The students were quick learners to figure out the many the steps to making a print and they were eager to get started after I demonstrated the process. 

Each student began by using a brayer to apply a thin film of ink to a plastic printing plate.

Then came the fun of drawing a design onto the plate with a Q-tip. Some of the students planned out very careful designs while others had fun drawing in a more free-form way with many curvy lines and dots.  The wonderful thing about doing monotype prints is that each print is different and unique.

Printmaking at Fort River - The Eric Carle Museum

For the last step the students got to turn the handle on the press to roll their plate and paper together.  After the plate went though our portable printing press the image was revealed!  We were lucky to have our Spring Studio intern, Luna, to show the students how to do this last exciting step.  As soon as a one print was finished the children were eager to start the process over again so each student was able to make many prints over our one hour class.



When students first learn about printing it is always fascinating to see their surprise when they notice that the image or words they drew are suddenly reversed.  After making this discovery the students had fun figuring out how to write messages backwards on the plate so that the finished print would be the proper direction.  The translucent ink we used allowed us to explore color by layering one print on top of another to see how the colors would blend.


All three of us have had a great time going to the local schools to share art-making with students outside of the museum. These programs have given us a way to get students engaged in new ways of making art and exploring their creativity.  We hope to see some of the friends we made come to visit the museum in the future! A special thanks goes to my friend and fellow teacher, Mr. Lott, for letting me use his beautiful classroom space for my lessons. Did you know we categorize all of our posts by type of media? For more posts about printmaking in The Studio click here.



We enjoy exploring materials and ideas in the Art Studio, and we’re excited to share our process with you! Please consider the following factors when adapting these posts for your learning environment: 

We facilitate a variety of programs within the Art Studio for a wide range of age groups. Please carefully consider the age appropriateness of each individual activity in your own learning environment.

Our projects are always done with adult supervision and proper safety precautions. Be sure all of your projects are overseen by adults who likewise follow proper safety precautions. The adults overseeing your project must also be responsible for handling or assisting with any potentially harmful equipment or materials. 

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is not responsible for any damages, injuries or liabilities that result from any activities contained within this website, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility or liability therefor. From time to time, we reference materials that we have found to be particularly important in our projects. We do not receive any monetary compensation for recommending materials. 



Add a New Comment

Leave a reply

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
To Top