Printmaking Workshop: woodcarving

I am terrible at documenting my art lessons. I was stoked to share my kids work and then had the disappointing realization that I had not taken many photos. The classes moved too quickly to remember to grab the camera. Since it was a morning class, the kids also took their work home in the afternoon, thereby stealing my opportunity to document it the next day! 

Due to the lack of photos, I would like to try to recreate the puffy paint printing at home first so I can post more about that one. Fortunately I was able to snap a handful of photos on the woodcutting day! 

On to business!  Okay...Woodcutting + small children = a TERRIBLE IDEA (usually)
But, with the addition of fresh carving tools, small groups at a time and baby oil, what could have been a bloody bloody mess was actually a very fun day for the kiddos and me!

When I was at school carving on BC plywood, we all learned baby oil was our best friend. It made poor quality free plywood cut like butter. A glorious thing when you're carving a 6' x 6' chunk of wood! 

I had the same approach to working with the kiddos. Albeit they had nicer quality and softer wood, I still soaked their slabs in a bit of oil to make it a little easier for them to carve. I also did this to give our linoleum carving tools a smaller beating. Actual woodcarving tools were unavailable and too expensive but I was able to procure a few new linoleum carving sets. So even though it was a bit more dangerous carving with sharper instruments, with the combo of a fresh blade and baby oil, the wood cut smoother and the skipped along the grains a lot less. 

Just like the foam paper printing, it took them a little bit to grasp that the words needed to be backwards but once they transferred them to the wood it made more sense. Their images were pretty simple of course but it was still a lot of fun to see what they came up with. One little boy kept adding to his carving. By the end of the class his print boldly stated, "Jack is AWESOME!"



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