The Chemistry & Art of Printing

Eli Whitney Museum

Show Menu
Thumbnail of The Chemistry & Art of Printing project

2016 Summer Program

Printing: you highlight an image, press print, then press return, then wait for a sheet of paper to roll out. You wonder: how did people do this before they had all this ingenious technology? This workshop will answer that question: long ago printing was already an art of ingenious technologies. Learn them.

Master the tools and chemistry* of producing, and sometimes reproducing images. Some of these techniques are ancient, some quite modern. All of the techniques guide and enhance the work of your hands in ways computers have not yet mastered. Sample formulae: Photo-transfer on to wood: that electrostatic image from the printer + Gum Arabic + water + ink +wood block+ roller. Marbling: shaving cream + food coloring +paper + squeegee. Sun Prints: photosensitive paper+ shadow objects +ultraviolet light (sun) + water to oxidize. Screen Printing: assemble screen+drawing fluid +screen filler + tee shirt + ink + squeegee + repeat. Blend experiments in art and in techniques to create work that you can wear, cards that you can mail to a friend, images you can frame, and limited editions that you can share with the class.

Visiting Printmaker: Alexis Brown

* Experiments developed to rely on child-safe chemicals and reactions

Back to Top