Batley Business & Enterprise College

Project: Printmaking – Forest
Participants: 20 Year 7 students
Partnering with: Batley Girls’ High School
Artist: Shelley Burgoyne

We will be looking at the changes in the forms of the trees through the year in the Forest School area at BBEC.  This will focus on changes in the natural life cycle. We will use found leaves, drawings and images of the ‘Forest’ area, photographs and research to inspire ideas for our artwork. The printmaking process will allow us to look at changing detail and surface texture as well as shape and outline. We will create relief printed ‘multiples’ and build a larger artwork together.

Our partner school for the project is Batley Girls’ High School – have a look at their project page too.

Session 1: 7th March 2014

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We have been looking forward to this and preparing drawings and photographs about our Forest School area at BBEC.  We talked about the life cycle of the trees and how they look through the seasons.  The art we are making will be quite difficult and challenging as it is going to be large but we are also really enthusiastic about it. The big pictures we are planning are like nothing we have ever done before.  We had to draw the tree trunks and measure our designs so they all fit together.  Today we started to find out about what a print is and how it’s made.  We made test prints and liked the results. They are all pinned up in the art room now. Shelley (artist)

“I am happy we are doing hard work and it is a challenge but we can do it. Shelley has taught us a lot of things and we have done it proud”

“I have had a lot of fun doing this project so far. I am looking forward to the finished product”

“I like this project, it makes me feel confident with my work. I have really enjoyed working with Shelley”

“Thank you for making the lesson fun. To improve I need to make my printing lines deeper. I am looking forward to carrying on”

Session 2: 21st March 2014

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We have looked forward to carrying on this challenge!  Today we started printing our life size trees.  This was quite a task and everyone worked in pairs to help each other. The whole group were especially involved with mixing the tree and leaf colours. We printed 15 trees that came out taller than us! The prints were all pinned up in the corridor and were very exciting to see hanging together. The forest is taking shape! We also experimented with leaf printing and single prints preparing for the next session. There was plenty of thought and commitment from the group and it was a fun session.  Shelley (artist)

“I really enjoyed the work and working with Mis, Miss and Miss.  We worked on big pieces of polyblock and each of the partners printed their work together so we made a long picture of a tree” 

“I found the lesson fun and we mixed lovely colours for our printed trees and then we printed them”

“My lesson on the forest was really good.  I liked the printing on the card. I enjoyed printing with the polyblock, it was really hard to work on and I kept on making holes in it” 

“I printed my big drawing in a silver colour.  I enjoyed it even though it was messy.  I was really pleased with my work and I worked well with my partner.  I look forward to the next session and the finished product”

Session 3: 4th April 2014

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In this project we have taken some new approaches to how we think about trees and the seasons.  We talked about the trees, changing colours, how the trees look.  All the ideas are coming together to make a large hanging printed ‘sculpture’.  It’s been a challenge and the whole thing has meant we needed to work together and support each other with the printing, especially the large trees.   It’s been especially interesting seeing all the colours and making the decisions about the mixing.  Shelley (artist)

“I really enjoyed doing these sessions with the artist Shelley. We drew the trees on the polyblock and printed these after we mixed all the different colours. Our finished work was extremely mind-boggling!  Because the different layers of ink were contrasting. I can’t wait to do something like this again”

“The second layers of ink were printed slightly offset which gave a very strong 3Dimensional effect to the prints”

“I really enjoyed the project because I got to try out printing and it looked really nice. It was fun printing my design onto the long paper.”

“I have enjoyed the project even though it was a bit dirty. The project has given my confidence in art.”

“I really enjoyed doing his and had great fun mixing all the colours and also enjoyed the printing. I have had great fun.”

“We printed trees with pour partner and joined them up to make one big tree. We had to use different colours and me and my partner made a orange, red colour after mixing red, yellow and orange. It was great fun.”

“We had lots of fun working with Shelley and were very proud with our results from the printmaking.”

A final word from staff…

We thoroughly enjoyed working with Shelley and hope that we can continue with the ‘Change’ project in the future. Our students find the experience uplifting, exciting and challenging. It also raises their confidence and their outlook on what Art is about.

Students developed a range of techniques associated with printing to accelerate their learning. They also developed their skills in independent learning through thinking, responding to others and having the freedom to produce exciting work. Problem solving was particularly good as it helped the students relate to each other and respect and value each other’s input.

The commitment of the students was immense and they are looking forward to seeing their work exhibited in the Gallery.

Julia Townend