Beyond the Matrix: Printmaking in the Classroom

Posted in Teaching | 2 Comments
Beyond the Matrix: Printmaking in the Classroom

Rainbow of possibilities with this printmaking/ create your own stamp projectLast week I taught a Professional Development printmaking workshop, Beyond the Matrix: The Print Process Across Cultures to a small group of Kindergarten- 5th grade art teachers.  Being a teacher is a rigorous and challenging profession. It’s a mix of time and classroom management, implementing Common Core Standards, testing; all with a sprinkling of content mixed in. And, for many art teachers at the elementary level, they have to become proficient at art on the cart, meaning that they do not have a dedicated art room. With each new class period, they visit the classroom with all the necessary materials and supplies loaded up on a rolling cart. 

All begins with your initials...

All begins with your initials…

As a Professional Teaching Artist, who teaches and integrates my practice as a visual artist into a wide range of settings, including the classroom, I love working with art teachers, finding most to be creative, innovative, and passionate.

Adding color to the stamp and notes!

Adding color to the stamp and notes!

Beyond the Matrix: The Print Process Across Cultures is a workshop that looks at stylized images and symbols as a method of communication, identification and decoration. Printmaking with its capacity to use a matrix; be it a stamp, a plate, a stencil or screen to create multiples lends itself to design, language arts, history and the studies of both ancient and contemporary culture. The materials are process are simple; adhesive backed foam (found at craft stores) cut and applied to a cardboard square to create the stamp, water based markers to apply color, and paper to print on.  And as we rediscovered last week, the results and possibilities are boundless.

Another fabulous print created simply

Another fabulous print
created simply

For the handout and worksheet click here.


  1. Rene DeSanto
    February 23, 2015

    This workshop was fantastic! As an elementary art teacher who teaches off of a cart and travels from classroom to classroom, this workshop gave me a very convenient approach to printmaking with younger students. In the past, I’ve only done true printmaking with 3rd, 4th and 5th grade because I had bad experiences teaching it to the younger students off of the cart (messy inks, paints, too many steps for students to complete and too much to clean up for younger students). Using this technique with markers and baby wipes (who would’ve thought??) I am able to incorporate this with k-2 students to introduce them to printmaking, so that when they get to 3rd grade they will be well on their way to use the traditional ink and painting techniques with even more success than before. I’ve already done the demo with the markers and baby wipes with my kinders and they were so excited-it’s a great way to introduce to them the concept of their initials in an abstract way (we will be doing abstract spring floral and shamrock designs to create a spring class “quilt” for the main hallway to decorate for march).
    Thank you Nanci for a great workshop experience!

    • Nanci Hersh
      February 23, 2015

      Rene, I greatly appreciate your positive feedback. So glad you are able to apply it to the classroom. It was great working with you. Thank you!


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