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Finished print (top) and cardboard plate

Early tomorrow morning, I’ll load my trusty etching press into the truck and head out on the first of 19 school visits to do printmaking with students at inner city schools. Over the next few weeks, we’ll save lots of scrap materials from an unhappy fate in the local landfill, and use it to create collographs instead. Bits of fabric, paper, textured vinyl, leftover ribbon… feathers, felt, pieces of worn-out straw hats… anything that can be glued to a cardboard square, rolled with printer’s ink and cranked through the press becomes eligible for a quick reclassification from “unwanted garbage” to “art supplies.”

In the sample print, the base is a throw-away scrap of mat board. The borders are ribbon, and the horse is made of cut-out paper scraps. His mane is a piece of a paper doily. The background patterns and the row of circles up one side are the result of drawing on the mat board surface with a sharp school pencil. A little ink, a spin through the press…

You never really know how your image will turn out!