Thursday, December 29, 2011

CD Printmaking

So I posted a while ago about learning to do printmaking on old CDs.  In November, I decided to experiment with my HS students after I tried it myself.
What a crazy mess!  I knew printmaking was messy with ink and papers and the printing press, but my room was a disaster!  Why?  Well I decided that it would be more productive if my students worked on 2 projects at a time, half doing one and the other half doing the other.  This would prevent students waiting around for the press, etc.  I decided to do a plaster project, which was also a mess and therefore for about 3 weeks my room was a disaster!  I don't think I will ever do that again!
Anyway back to the printmaking, I'll post about the plaster projects later...
I explained the concept of printmaking, hatching and crosshatching, and how the whole process would work.  I then allowed students to come up with their own idea for subject matter.  Many of my students didn't use crosshatching like I wanted them to, but they turned out ok.  We used push-pins to scratch the CD to make the design, which wasn't too difficult of a task but you have to work at it to get the lines kind of deep.  The deeper the lines, the easier it will print.  Several of my students complained about their hands hurting and the push-pins being too small but I had no other solution so I basically told them to suck it up!  It wasn't that bad and those few are my "dramatic" "complainer" few.
When it came to printing, I demonstrated several times to each group and helped them troubleshoot.  Some went back and re-scratched their lines while others seemed to do pretty well.  The prints seemed to be pretty inconsistent and the kids got frustrated easily.  But when I watched them do it and even did some of theirs myself, it seemed to work ok.  I had several students that just gave up on it all together which was pretty disappointing to me that they didn't have much energy to try.

This was definitely a project that needs some fine-tuning before I do it again.  The results were a variety and here are some of the better ones.

K-State Wildcat

Tiger/Dragon Yin Yang


  1. Should I assume you have a press for your printing? Otherwise I can't imagine you get a deep enough intaglio on the CD to get it to print easily. Cool concept, even if it was a struggle!

  2. I did use a printing press, but the lady who showed me how to do it said it could be printed by hand. I didn't try that so I'm not sure how different it would be.