|Negative leaf print by one of my second grade students earlier this year.|
Hey, guys! This post has been very popular on my blog...if you are interested in other leaf-y projects, look at my Leaf Relief project and my Pressed Leaf Project as well. Thanks!
I don't know what it's like where you live, but here in Tennessee, we are experiencing spring-like weather. For the most part. I mean it did snow the last two Saturdays (and, in Tennessee, "snow" means just a few flakes and a couple of inches) but the other day it was 78 degrees. Crazy, right?
For that reason, I've got touch of spring fever. You too? Well then you might enjoy this leafy printmaking project I did at the beginning of the year with my second graders. It's simple, scientific, beautiful and fun...okay, enough talking about me (!), on with the lesson.
For this project, you'll need the following:
- gelatin, not Jell-o. Most grocery stores carry a brand called Knox which sells in boxes of 16 pouches.
- cookie sheets
- printmaking brayer, sold at most craft stores
- printing ink
- variety of leaves
|Print pulled from the same printing tray, this time the positive version.|
Pour mixture into a cookie sheet filling it about 1". Leave uncovered over night. If you see any bubbles in the cookie sheet, pop them or remove with a spoon. For my class of 20 students, I made three trays.
|Pulling the first print always managed to get oohhhh's and aahhhh's aplenty.|
- Using a brayer and printing ink, cover surface of gelatin in ink.
- Place leaves onto the ink-covered cookie sheet with the veiny side down. I don't recommend using anything with pine needles because that will puncture the gelatin. But experiment, you never know!
- Once leaves are in place, lay paper on top of cookie sheet and rub (er, we call it "massage") the paper.
- Pull paper off, as you see in the above photo, and viola! You have your first print!
|Notice how clear the gelatin looks. All of the ink that was once on the tray is now on the paper.|
|I love her dainty fingers pulling up the second print. So sweet.|
- Gently remove all of the leaves from the tray. It's best to pull them out by the end of the stem.
- Place a new sheet of paper over the now-empty cookie sheet and rub.
- Pull second print which will be a positive image of the first.
|Looks like a black and white photo, don't you think?|
|Our second go-round of printing involved using white ink on black paper. Just as pretty.|
|I love the photo negative quality of this print.|