Printmaking (Introductory Level) – Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design

Printmaking (Introductory Level)

Printmaking (Introductory Level)
Date: January 30 – April 3, 2023 (Mondays, 8 weeks)
Time: 6 pm to 9 pm
Instructor: Emma Whaley
Fee: $132 plus HST (Members) | Fee: $151.80 plus HST (Non-Members)

Printmaking is known for its reproduction capabilities. This 8 week workshop offers an introduction to print history, application and techniques. You are invited to explore Block Printing, Screenprinting, and Intaglio Printing in this hands-on workshop designed to inform and inspire. (No class on February 20, March 13)

Emma Whaley Whaley is Graphic Designer from the small town of Brighton Ontario. Today, they are an Illustrator based in Cape Breton University. Whaley enjoys exploring new mediums and techniques. A skilled drawer, painter, and fiber artist, Whaley appreciates many forms of art and design. They are also knowledgeable of relief, screen, and intaglio printmaking. Whaley recently has taken up beadwork and is pursuing a career as a secondary school educator at Cape Breton University. With a background in Atlantic and Art History, Whaley is devoted to the application and appreciation of historical and cultural impacts on contemporary arts and makers.

(Week 1) History and application:
Week 1 will explore print history over a range of regions and applications. Emma will start the class with a quick introduction of herself and her practice. Students will be asked to introduce themselves and provide a brief description of what they think print media is. She will start with a history of silk screen printing. After a 10-minute break, you will look at some Intaglio print and relief print history. There will be a final 10-minute break and then you will dive into block printing, textile print history, and street art. Students will be asked to begin sketching in a sketchbook. Sketch page examples will be provided 10 minutes prior to the end of class.

Learning Outcomes: Print practice and business, an introduction to print history, and introduction to preliminary sketching with printmaking in mind.

(Week 2) Safety, material handling:
Week 2 will begin with personal introductions and a quick response to last week’s question about print media. Emma will note any changed perspectives and/or ideas. You will look at the materials list and she will go over each item and what it is for/does. After a 10-minute break, she will do a demonstration on safe handling of blades and carving tools. Students will then demonstrate these skills on cutting mats and small linoleum blocks. Students will be given an additional 10-minute break. The last portion of the class will be spent discussing paper and paper cutting techniques, paper tearing techniques, and paper soaking techniques. Students will learn the difference between cold-pressed and hot-pressed papers, papers used for proofing prints, and papers best suited for printing in the three print methods. Continue sketches in sketch books over the week.

Learning Outcomes: Safe use of printmaking tools, Cutting and carving methods, print surfaces and preparation, and sketch book development.

(Week 3) Introduction to Block Printing:
For the first hour you will view block printing examples and learn about a couple contemporary block printing artists. After a ten-minute break, you will work on finalizing sketches to start your first proofs. Emma will review the safety rules for carving and cutting. After your final ten-minute break, students will begin carving their blocks.

Learning Outcomes: Contemporary block printing artists, about proofing prints, and block carving.

(Week 4) Block Printing Continued:
Students will continue carving their blocks and begin to choose paper or textile for their print surfaces. Students may purchase and bring in textile surfaces such as shirts and hats for their prints. After a ten-minute break, students will prepare inks for printing on their desired surfaces (mediums are added to ink for textile printing). Students will proof their work and then make any desired adjustments prior to printing a mono-print, and then a consistent edition of three or more prints.

Learning Outcomes: Block carving, print surfaces and their uses/differences, ink preparation, mono prints, and what makes an edition.

(Week 5) Intaglio Printing:
Students will learn the difference between block printing and Intaglio printing (ink lifted from recesses rather than the surface of the place). Students will view examples and be introduced to the works of some contemporary Intaglio artists. After a 10-minute break, students will begin to sand their zinc plates and prepare their plate surfaces. There will be a short demonstration and review of proper tool use. Students can begin to dry-point etch their plates.

Learning Outcomes: differentiating between surface and recess printing. Proper use of etching needle and intaglio plate preparation.

(Week 6) Intaglio Printing Continued:
Emma will demonstrate the proper use of a printing press. Students will then take turns inking, and then printing their etchings onto newsprint. The time required for this may vary depending on the number of students. The rest of the day will be open for sketchbook development.

Learning Outcomes: Using a printing press. Printing editions. Wiping plates for printing. Intaglio ink vs acrylic inks.

(Week 7) Introduction to Screen Printing:
You will construct your own Screenprinting frames from nylon and an embroidery ring. Students will learn the difference between positive and negative space. Students will prepare a screen with photo emulsion and one drawing their image with mod podge. Students will ink jet print a solid black and white design and expose their screens to the image once the emulsion has dried. The un-exposed emulsion will be washed away to reveal their design.

Learning Outcomes: Exploring positive and negative space. Photo emulsion and printmaking.

(Week 8) Students will print using the screens that were made the week before. The last hour students will have the opportunity to show their work in a mini gallery setting.

Materials List:
Sketch book/pad
Linoleum block
4”/6” zinc plate (roughly)
Block carving tools (Speedball brand is fine)
Dry point etching needle
800 grit and 1000 grit sandpaper
Photo emulsion (screen)

Advance registration for members begins January 3.

General registration for non-members begins January 16.

For more information on this program or to register, email