When I took the screen printing tutorial class at Monster Gallery back in December, I didn't realize that it would turn into me co-teaching a screen printing workshop to Stamford teachers.
My friend Sarah, who teaches middle school art at Stamford, saw my blogpost and emailed me about getting a workshop together. I was in Nashville for Christmas break at the time, but jumped at the opportunity! We would be able to engage teachers from a variety of disciplines in something creative that they could use in or out of the classroom. That's Sarah below, filling in a Russian doll/heart screen.
We ended up getting approved to teach the workshop in early March, the same week that we had a professional development day scheduled for Friday. We were originally scheduled for 2 days, but changed it to 3 so that teachers had the option of showing up for any 2 days of the 3 offered. This worked out great because we were able to do almost 2 full screen printing workshops over the span of 3 days.
I had our students bring in a simple black and white design of their choosing. We had a variety of really fun designs show up: an owl, a shark, a calavera. A dream catcher, a camera, several birds.
We used the same process I learned in December to ready our screens for printing. Sarah and I stretched the mesh over the frames prior to everyone's arrival. We bought several containers of screen filler from Art Friend, our local art store. I would've preferred Speedball, but they were out and waiting on a shipment.
Everyone traced their designs with a pencil onto their screen. Once that was complete, they used a small brush and began painting on the screen filler. The brand we were using proved to be clunky, waxy, and not as easy to paint on as the Speedball version I used at Monster Gallery. But we were able to finish up our screens during the first day of workshops, allowing for printing to take place on the second day and third days.
We had everyone do test prints on construction paper, checking to see if any holes needed to be filled.
What I really loved was when the students started mixing colors and taking the process in a new direction.
How great is this 3-color dream catcher? Electric!
Everyone loved it so much that Sarah and I ended up staying late on a few days the following week so people could come back and screen print their designs onto more items. People brought in hand towels, Nylon bags, a canvas bag, t-shirts, a baby blanket, and the cutest little-person striped hoody I've ever seen . . .
I was really pleased with the small--but hard working!!--group that attended our workshop. It was so nice to meet new people and teach adults again. Over the past several years, I had forgotten what teaching adults can be like . . . It was a refreshing and welcomed change of pace.
I'm looking forward to another creative play date soon! (Can you say stuffed monsters? Woohoo! Check back in a few weeks!)
PS: When you come home from the last day of a workshop and it looks like this outside your bedroom, you stop and take notice. So grateful for the opportunity to be here and experience this. All of it. To many, many more sunsets!