Emma had a special school assignment due this week--right after Thanksgiving. It was due today, and I only remembered it on Monday evening. Oops.
The assignment was to make a 2-dimensional art project that reflected diversity. She's part of an enrichment class at school, and they'd been discussing diversity for a couple weeks now.
I asked her what she knew about the word, and she told me that it was figuring out how things are different, but also how they are the same. I love this.
Starting with the idea of similarities, we decided to carve some stamps. That way we could have similar images and color them with different patterns. We got a couple blocks of stamp rubber and a piece of sturdy paper at Hobby Lobby. I've done this type of project a couple times before, so I already had some lino-cutting tools, and exact-o knife, a brayer, and a tube of black block printing ink.
When faced with school projects, it can be tempting for mommas to take over. I fought it, y'all. I fought it.
I gave Emma a piece of paper and told her to draw some birds. To be honest, they looked a little weird, and I thought that might distract from the intended message. So I gave her a cool old book about cars and trucks and asked her to draw some of those.
Much better. I LOVE these drawings.
The next step was to transfer her kid-drawings to the rubber stamp material. I used a pencil and darkened her lines. It was hard not to straighten out her lines, but I tried to resist. I wanted this to be all her.
Turn the darkened drawing face down on the rubber.
Scribble all over the back of the drawing, pressing so that the transfer happens.
You can peek to make sure that you got all of the lines.
Success! You now have a mirror image of the original drawing.
Now carefully carve around the dark lines. I start with a very fine cutter and do the outlines first, then fill in with the wider cutters.
Trim away the excess with an exact-o knife.
Squirt a small amount of ink onto a plate. I used a ceramic plate, but it was very difficult to get off all of the ink. Save yourself the trouble and use paper. Or do what professional print-makers do and use a piece of glass.
Spread it out with your brayer until you hear it "sing". It sounds a little sticky. That's when you know it's right.
I love seeing those little hands make things.
Smooth it carefully onto your stamp.
Press onto the paper, using even, firm pressure.
Since we only made one stamp at a time, we used the original drawings to hold the spaces between the cars. I did help with the placement.
We waited as long as possible for the ink to dry before Emma colored in the cars. Ideally, you'll want to wait overnight at least. She used colored pencils to make the cars diverse.
Be careful not to drag your hand across the ink, even after it's dry. It tends to rub off a little for a long time.
Mount the finished piece on a larger black board, and it's finished! Don't forget the signature!