One of the more interesting things I learned while researching all things fairy was the Green Man. I can now hardly wait to go to Europe this fall and keep my eye open for him image in the architecture throughout the ages.
His face is covered in foliage and he is seen as a symbol of rebirth, representing the cycle of regrowth each spring. I was amazed at the many different cultures throughout the ages who embraced this image, including images from modern day, and shared lots of different images with the kids of the Green Man.
They were equally fascinated.
I thought the graphic nature of the Green Man in architecture would be easy for the kids to interpret in printmaking. I decided to introduce a collograph project since I had so many young children in the camp.
7 year old
I started by taking some of the cardboard I always save from the back of the paper pads I buy for classes. I cut them into 4x4 squares and covering them in matte medium, giving the the opportunity to dry completely before camp started.
6 year old
The kids then spent the morning cutting shapes out of card stock and gluing them onto the cardboard. I showed them how to layer paper on top of paper to create depth to the work. They truly enjoyed this process and spent far more time than I anticipated creating their faces.
9 year old
As they began to finish, I brought out some yarn for them to add if they wanted to the works. Then in the afternoon after the kids were gone, I again covered the artworks in another layer of matte medium so it would dry before we printed with them the next day.
5 year old
I brought out green, black and gold ink for the kids to use for printmaking. Some kids did not want to print their work in black and went straight to the green. I explained to all of them that they would need to do two or three prints at first just to prime the plate before they would get a really nice one.
7 year old
Lots of discoveries were made while creating the prints. How much ink, how much pressure, how much water to add to get a nice result. While this held the interest of the older children in the camp, my observation with the younger ones was that they enjoyed creating the plates far more than they did printing with them.
6 year old
That being said, I think the Green Man had a lasting effect on the kids as you will see in tomorrow's post. It was interesting to try a different form of printmaking with the kids than I usually do and I will be anxious to take what I learned from my observations watching the children explore the process and apply it to future projects.