The Big Draw at Oriel Ynys Mon

A exhausting, but ultimately satisfying, day at Oriel Ynys Môn on Oct. 26th., helping to run a family workshop for The Big Draw 2012.
Children (and parents) were invited to make drawings using the "le Chéile" exhibition as inspiration - and failing that, anything in the building! The drawings were converted into prints using "polyplate", thin sheets of something like fine expanded polystyrene. It's soft enough to be inscribed with pencils, biros, fingernails, old pen tops etc., allowing relief plates to be made in minutes. The children were then shown how to ink the plates using rollers, and the plates were printed onto A4 paper using a portable printing press. As usual, the moment of lifting the paper from the plate generated "oohs" and "aahs" of excitement, and the children rushed off to re-ink, re-draw and re-print.
At the end of each session they went happily home with a parcel of prints - and the plates. Any reservations about the environmental impact of that polystyrene were somewhat alleviated by the realisation that the treasured plates are unlikey to be thrown away.
Very many thanks to Tara Dean & Frances Carlile, my colleagues in the workshop, and to Jim Creed of the Regional Print Centre and to Andrew Smith of the Dept. of Lifelong Learning, Bangor University for donating materials & sundries.

Decks cleared for action.........

Inking the plate - and putting it through the press (photographs courtesy +copyright Frances Carlile)

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