Mechanical Reproduction: Block Prints

From the first bookplate done in 1460 to the Xerox copy machine, we are a culture that relies on the repetitive dissemination of images and text. We will begin this lesson considering the effects of this mechanical reproduction in Eastern and Western art today. After reviewing the article “Art in The Age of Mechanical Reproduction” you will be asked to choose from 3 categories of objects or images:

  1. Everyday objects that you use respectively such as a toothbrush, food, utensils, etc… or that is repetitive, a leaf, a flower, a doorknob
  2. Commercial or political images in the newspaper (or online news source)
  3. A work of art.

You will first do a line drawing of the object, figuring out how to break it down to a simple negative/positive image. For example, if you chose a commercial product, you will need to take out unnecessary detail and design and make it a clear black and white graphic. You will transfer the image to the 4 x 6” rubber block using carbon paper (larger blocks are available for the ambitious). We will cover the techniques of block cutting and printing and will assist you as you work on the piece. The image will be printed on rice paper and block paper. You will be asked to print the image at least two times to see the impact of reception. The class will display all of the work as a group.

Fall 2016

Fall 2013

Fall 2011

Fall 2010