By GARY POPP
NEW ALBANY —
A group of area children got their hands dirty Saturday afternoon as they were exposed to the often forgotten art form of printmaking.
The Carnegie Center for Art and History, along Spring Street in New Albany, hosted the workshop that let the children draw, carve and press materials into unique pieces of artwork. The two-hour class, open to children ages 9 to 14, was taught by artist and printmaker Julie Yoder, who works in education at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in downtown Louisville. Yoder was asked to instruct the workshop as she has a print featured in the Carnegie Center’s current exhibit.
Yoder led the class of young artists through each step of basic printmaking, and when the workshop was over, each child went home with a personalized creation of ink on paper.
The children were first given a 3-inch by 3-inch block of rubber, about a half-inch deep. They then used pencils to draw images on the rubber blocks. Yoder then passed out hand-held carving tools for the children to carve out their drawings. Small rollers were then used to spread a water-based ink over the carved images, and the blocks were then carefully pressed on a heavy-gauge paper to complete the projects.
Sisters Annmarie and Ella Tichy, of New Albany, both said they were happy to have attended the class. Ella Tichy, 9, a third-grader a St. Paul Catholic School, titled her work, an image of a tree, “A Peaceful Day.”
“I started with a sprout, but decided to do a tree,” she said. “I named it ‘A Peaceful Day’ because it looks like there is wind blowing through the tree.”
Ella Tichy said she was going to hang her print on a miniature bulletin board in her bedroom.
Annmarie Tichy, 12, a sixth-grader at St. Paul, made a print of vines with over-sized leaves.
“I just like the idea of it and the way it looked,” Annmarie Tichy said of her project that she titled “Stems.”
She said the printmaking class was “very different” from the time allotted for art work she receives once a week at school.
“I don’t think I have ever done anything like this before,” she said.
After the two-hour class, Annmarie Tichy was able to give a bit of advice to other kids interested in printmaking.
“Don’t get frustrated if it is not what you hoped it would be,” she said, adding that she thought her project came out “really good.”
While printmaking has a long history of mass producing text and artwork, Yoder said the creative process has become not a lost art, but a lesser-known art outside of the art community.
“[Printmaking] certainly does not get the attention that paint and sculpture and traditional art forms get, but I think it is quite vibrant still,” Yoder said.
She said her attentive class of young artists did a wonderful job, and she was pleased with their final projects.
“I think [printmaking] is a difficult concept to grasp,” Yoder said. “Until you have actually seen the whole process, it can be hard to understand what you are trying to make.”
Yoder, who has experience teaching all ages of inspiring artists, said working with children offers challenges and benefits.
“Kids don’t necessarily have the motor skills as adults do, but they don’t come with preconceived notions.” She said. “So they can be more open to trying something they don’t quite understand.”
Go to carnegiecenter.org to learn about upcoming exhibits, workshops and family-oriented programs.