In Teens

These Kaleidoscope Mandala Collagraphs will blow your mind! Created by our teens and tweens during art summer camp – their talent never ceases to amaze us!

Inspired by beautiful radial designs of mandalas, students created their printing plates using a thin foam + glue sticks applied to a heavy weight 6 ply mat board.  Honestly I’m not sure why we used the foam, it didn’t work that well as it didn’t adhere very well with the glue stick — I would suggest just cutting the pieces out of either mat board, or – the easiest process ever – just use self adhesive foam.  Then you don’t even need a glue stick.  Just so you can make sense of these photos though, we used the thin white foam + a glue stick, but to secure the printing plate before printing, we had to cover it with a thick coat of Mod Podge.  Otherwise all the little pieces would have been flying off during the printmaking process.

As we always do, we printed them using Blick’s Water Soluble printmaking ink, applied with a brayer.  We only use this ink when printmaking because it is thick bodied, and slow drying.  This is important when you are printing on a large scale and to get an even print.  You could attempt to get a decent print with acrylic and it seems like it would work great – but the consistency of acrylic is all wrong for printmaking – and it dries way too quick!  Don’t even waste your time 🙂

And speaking of the printmaking process… looks like we didn’t even get any photos of the that, or their actual prints!  We were distracted by the idea to color these printing plates with chalk pastel!  The dried printmaking ink on the printing plates gave them a really great “toothy” texture that really grabbed ahold of the chalk pigment.  These were seriously just pure eye candy!

Small Hands Big Art Open Studio


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Showing 5 comments
  • Greet

    Very nice work indeed!
    Are these the coloured printings?or Are these the collages of foam you coloured?

    • Admin

      Thank you Greet! These images are of the collagraph printing plates that they applied chalk pastel to after printing them with black ink. They created the plates but cutting small pieces of thin foam – most places at least 2 layers. They used a glue stick but to ensure the plates didn’t fall apart during the printing process, we gave them a thick coat of Mod Podge to seal them. The next day they inked and printed them (no photos) – and then we thought the printing plates looked so cool we came up with the idea for them to color them with chalk.

  • alysa!

    Hey! I love these! Can you send me some pics of the actual prints??! Thank you!

  • alysa!

    Oh no! I just re read your blurb and realize you didnt get any print pictures. Well, If I do this project with my middle school art students I will send you some. 🙂

  • Cindy

    What kind of ink did you use to print with?

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