String Prints

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This is a very spontaneous form of printmaking! Students used black ink and/or watercolor paint to dye a long piece of cotton twine. Laying the colored string in a looped pattern between two pieces of paper, (Or a single folded piece of paper,) the students then pressed the paper under a heavy book. While keeping the papers weighted, the students pulled one end of the string free from the weight, which resulted in the dyed twine leaving an abstract pattern of loops and lines as it’s painted surface was dragged across the sandwiched papers. Colored papers were used for some of the black ink prints, and folded sheets of watercolor paper were used for the watercolor prints. Note: You can use pan watercolors or liquid watercolors for this technique, and good quality India Ink creates bold, black prints— but limit how much you pour at a time: Spills happen!

Students also spent several class periods embellishing their string prints with a variety of materials such as Sharpies, colored pencil, watercolors and metallic pens. The symmetrical, abstract designs are a vibrant and a fun departure from some of the more technical projects we do in our 7th grade art class!

Here is a quick video of the process: STRING PRINT INSTRUCTIONS VIDEO

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