Starting points for print

Experimentation and exploration

Experimenting with materials and tools to find out what can be done with them is an essential introduction to printing. Only when children have an understanding of this can they begin to design for the medium. Exploring materials and tools and the work of print-makers are therefore suggested as the more appropriate starting points for expressing ideas as printed images. Focusing on print-making materials and tools gives children opportunities to:

  • Enjoy the excitement of discovering print marks
  • Make choices about materials and techniques

Any natural or manufactured objects that have interesting shapes or textures would be suitable for print-making. It is useful to store collections of suitable print-making bric-à-brac in boxes. This would include plain and corrugated card, fabric scraps (hessian, for example), textured wallpaper, string, wood and parts of old utensils, tools and machines. Suitable surfaces for printing onto would include varieties of paper, card and fabric. Either water-soluble ink or tempera paint may be used; if the latter, it may need to be thickened with liquid soap or PVA glue to achieve a sufficiently tacky consistency or to prevent it drying out too quickly.