Earlier in the year we ran a project called Makers & Shakers, designed to inspire and nurture the next generation of makers, artists and creative thinkers in Leeds.
Working with 13 local artists and makers and 33 young people, the project brought together craft, design culture and print through a series of inspiring workshops. We also created a Makers & Shakers zine from the project packed full of creativity, craft tutorials and inspiration which you can now buy here.
Surface pattern designer Jenna Coulthard who creates abstract images inspired by nature, was one of the artists involved in the project and delivered an inspiring Mono printing workshop which also explored life in lockdown and what it made us notice more in our surroundings. Jenna noticed the spring flowers more than ever and created a whole new collection of floral prints in lockdown.
What have you noticed? Start with a brainstorm of words and pictures and turn your ideas into art using Jenna's handy Mono printing tutorial below.
Want to try mono printing at home?
What you need:
- A Roller - the ones with the red handle are really easy to pick up from most craft stores.
- Printing ink - this needs to be block printing or lino printing ink. Water-based ink is best to use and easy to find.
- Acetate or Plastic surface
- Paper - coloured paper gives you a nice base to work with black ink.
- Pencils, pens, etc.
- Table Cloth
Mono-printing is super easy you could try it at home, BUT it can get very messy so make sure you have plenty of table cloths & aprons at the ready!
1) Create a flat surface on your table by taping down your sheet of acetate onto a table over a table cloth that you don't mind getting messy!
Tip: Typically printmakers use shatterproof glass.
2) Using your roller, roll the ink out onto the acetate nice and thin.
Tip: A common mistake here is to use too much ink, actually, you don't need a lot of ink at all. If you are using an oil-based ink, it would seem sticky to touch with a smooth even texture. Water-based inks need to appear almost dry for mono-printing.
3) Place the paper carefully on top of the rolled ink. Draw your brainstorm ideas and designs on the paper using a biro or experiment with different pens, pencils & using your finger is also great for creating shading.
Tip: Be careful not to lean on the paper with your hand, as any pressure applied to the paper will pick up the ink.
4) The last step is to very carefully peel the paper from the ink to reveal your print!
Tip: Leave your print to dry somewhere flat. oil-based inks take longer to dry but water-based should be good after 5-10mins.
You can go again by adding a touch more ink and rolling the ink so there is no trace of the previous print.
You can view Jenna's work at bobennashop.com @jennawennebobenna