Process art: veggie printmaking

For summer Sunday school today, I wanted to do some process art. (In process art, you have fun with the process and don’t worry about the final product.) I decided to do veggie printmaking, using cut vegetables dipped in thick paint to make prints. One of the children today said it’s like stamping, except you use veggies instead of rubber stamps.

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In the end, 14 children showed up, ranging in age from 3 to 13. It was a little challenging to keep the three preschoolers supplied with paint and veggies, although ultimately some of them stuck with it longer than the big kids. For paint, I bought a ten-pack of Crayola Washable Kid’s Paint. It’s thick enough to use for this project. The children liked some of the colors better than others. The dark blue and the light blue were especially vivid and fun to print with, and today we used up most of each of those 2 oz. bottles.

For veggies, I had a 5 lb. bag of potatoes, 3 apples, 4 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, and an eggplant. We used almost all the veggies today. I also had blunt-tipped serrated steak knives that the big kids could use to cut designs into the apples and potatoes. Some of the big kids tried elaborate designs like hearts and stars, but a third grader made the design I liked best: simple stripes:

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The apples proved to be a lot of fun to print with. They were pretty juicy, so they diluted the paint. Some of the children loaded them up with paint, and then rubbed them around on the paper. Here’s a print where a child did just that:

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Another fun thing to do was to use the serrated knife to cut a potato in half. This leaves a textured surface, which makes really interesting images:

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Printmaking lasted about thirty minutes, and then we transitioned into a game of tag. Most of the prints were pretty forgettable, and most of the children did not bother to take their prints home. Of course, that was the point: the fun was in the process.

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