Printmaking Assignment Ideas?

I’m seeking good new ideas for printmaking assignments. Could be related to the kind of printmaking or could be themes that have inspired good student response. Any ideas would be very useful.

Jen Smith-Sencrest


3 Responses to “Printmaking Assignment Ideas?”

  1. C. Koopman Says:

    Jen, There are two themed assignments that I use that have received some interesting results.
    The first is a photopolymer plate (could be any technique) assignment. The theme is interior/exterior. They can interpret this in any way. They use two plates that are printed side by side in an arrangement that they choose. One of my main purposes was to give them experience developing and printing a more complicated image.
    The second theme is relationship. This can be parasitic or symbiotic. They create two thin collagraph plates – one with each part of the relationship. Then they print the plates on top of each other and create a series of images that explore color, print order, plate orientation, registration, and theme.

  2. Kathryn Reeves Says:

    I created an assignment called “Police Artist” for relief print courses. It is presented as a press release describing a theft of a major (and unphotographed) print from a gallery in Zurich. Based on eyewitness descriptions only (which are specific, vague, contradictory, and subject to individual interpretation), students must recreate the stolen print. The only thing they know for sure is that the print was predominantly black and white, 18 x 24.

    Another of my assignments (for relief, screen or other media) that works well concerns identity. Start by making inky fingerprints, scan, manipulate and enlarge them digitally. Add other symbols or icons that relate to the individual. Inkjet, laser or xerox copies of the fingerprints can be used during the drawing/ideation process. Use large or tiled xerox or laser prints to transfer image to block or plywood with solvent. Or a greener method is use graphite paper to trace/transfer the image from inkjet, xerox, laser print.

    E. C. Cunningham, Metropolitan State University of Denver, has a wonderful book H.E.L.P. that include a lot of assignments from around the country.

  3. Mirka Hokkanen Says:

    We always did a small class portfolio at the end of the semester with the teacher taking part in it. Print size was small, 5×7- 10×7. After a semester of learning about new teachniques, students could pick their favorite one and make a print with it. Prints were turned in on the second to last class for me to grade, and on the last day of class after cleaning, we would cut out little covers for them and curate our portfolio. It was a fun group activity to do at the end of the semester and soemthing for the students to remember for a long time.

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