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Topic: Block prints with recycled food packaging  (Read 43546 times)
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« on: October 06, 2008 10:24:58 AM »

For the past few weeks, I've been experimenting with making block prints out of that dense styrofoam food packaging -- like the kind meat is packed in, or styrofoam egg crates, that sort of thing.  For some reason, my grocery store uses that stuff for *everything*, especially vegetables, so I wanted to find a way to at least get extra use out of it all.

Here's what I came up with.  If you want to try it out on your own, it's super easy.  I just use an x-acto to cut out the shape of what I want to print, and then use the same blade to make linework.  I like to go over the lines again with something pointy; I use an etching tool, but you use any sort of stylus to just widen the lines slightly.  You can even just draw into the styrofoam with a pen, or anything that will indent it -- but I like the nice lines you get from using an x-acto.  Printing is exactly the same as a linocut, except that you have to be careful inking multiples, as the edges get squished down a little bit.  This material doesn't work well if you want a print with a lot of thin ink-colored lines or small shapes, but it's great for simple, bold shapes with fine, cut linework.  Here are a few prints I made with the styrofoam:

And this is what the materials look like after being cut and printed:

I like doing linocuts or woodblocks, but this process is so fast, it's really satisfying.  Plus, it's great to use materials that are both recycled and free!
« Last Edit: October 06, 2008 11:21:09 AM by mleak » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2008 10:43:53 AM »

I love the mustache collection (I wish you'd named them  Smiley )

How difficult is it to do the multiple ink colors like on the heart?

Oh, and thanks for the instructions!

« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2008 10:57:39 AM »

LOL. I love the beards.
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2008 10:59:51 AM »

This is such a fabulous and creative idea!  You made such cool prints, too!

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"It looks like he's performing human tasks twice as well, because he knows no fear or pain."

« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2008 11:05:23 AM »

I love the beard stamps, to fun! My brother is actually growing his out to look like the top right one.
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2008 11:07:35 AM »

I've actually tried this method and I agree, it is fun and good for instant-ish gratification. I LOVE the beards!

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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2008 11:11:42 AM »

What a good idea! Easy and cheap, I love those facial hairs!
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2008 11:17:57 AM »

Thanks guys!

minkeyfeet -- that's funny, I actually did name them all, and I wrote a short little bio-story for each one on my flickr!  The top row from left to right contains Andrew, Kenneth, and Leon, and the bottom row is Walter and Hank.  The prints with multiple colors were actually pretty simple, printed in one go -- I would just roll up different colored inks on the same block, cleaning my roller off when necessary to avoid polluting the colors too much.  The heart is actually done with just two colors of ink, blue and red, and where they overlapped is the dark purple.

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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2008 11:30:14 AM »

They look great. I've never tried anything like this before. I love the images you did. What kind of ink did you use? How well would acrylic paint work, with fabric medium probably?

« Last Edit: October 06, 2008 11:30:54 AM by sactownsue » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2008 11:48:36 AM »

I just went to your flickr to read the bios - perfect!  Grin  (still laughing a little)

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