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Designing Monogram Stamps.

I wanted to try using a modeling clay compound in a different way than just merely sculpting. I designed a printmaking project to enhance the students' understanding of patterns using repeated shapes and forms stemming from the students' own initials. To accomplish this, we each made our own "rubber stamp" using a modeling compound as the medium. The students also gained an appreciation for graphic design inherent in our alphabet.

Letter Designs

First we discussed monograms. I had each student write his/her initials on a sheet of paper. Next, they drew designs around their initials. These designs in themselves were works of art.

I reviewed the printmaking process with the class. We had done linoleum prints of animals previously in the year, so they had some basic knowledge of the process. They knew a print would come out in reverse from the stamp or printing plate, and remembered that letters had to be written in reverse to print correctly.

Modeling a Stamp

I gave each student a ball of the modeling compound. A handle was pinched up to make a "rubber stamp" handle. The stamp face was formed into whatever shape the student desired. Some chose circular faces, and some straight edged faces. Next, using a stylus (sharpened dowel rod), the students carved and poked their initials or monograms on the faces of the stamps in reverse, or backwards, so it would print correctly. (Tip: For students who have a hard time with this concept, have them hold their initials drawn on paper up to a window and trace over the back side. This will automatically reverse the image).

After the initials were engraved into the face of the stamp, designs were poked and pushed into the stamp's face to complement the monogram. I reminded the students to keep the total design and balance in mind. We let the stamps dry overnight.

Colors and Patterns

The next class period we printed with our rubber stamps. The students print with either black waterbased block printer's ink or watercolors. They painted or pressed the stamp's face in the paint or ink and then stamped it on a piece of paper. We each made a test print using one color. This was set aside to dry.

We set to work making repeated design prints. The students used different colors of inks and different arrangements to create unique works of art. Patterns were created by the overlapping and repetition of the monogram design.

Cleanup was easy for this project. We washed the stamps and used them again and again!

Objectives

Students will be able to:

* Define printmaking.

* Define positive and negative space.

* Create a monogram design and transfer it to a rubber stamp.

* Use color effectively.

* Use a modeling medium in a unique way.

* Create a finished print using overlapping and repetition.

* Experiment with color combinations and mixing inks.

NATIONAL STANDARD

Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

Karen Skophammer is an art instructor for Manson Northwest Webster School in Barnum and Manson, Iowa.
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Author:Skophammer, Karen
Publication:School Arts
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 1999
Words:507
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