# Fractal Kitty

## Week 51: Block Prints

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I love thinking of mirror images when I am block printing. I will never forget the time I printed SPARK backwards on accident for a summer art camp and my kids laughed at the reverse phonics. This week I encourage learners to take a math concept, tessellation, or shape and create a print.

Ways to create plates for printing:

• For younger learners, foam boards easily take impressions.
• For those that are semi-comfortable carving, potatoes, apples, or rubber blocks can provide semi-soft mediums to carve.
• For those that are skilled with sharp objects, wood or lino-blocks may be preferred.

When I teach I say these words at least a few dozen times:

• Do not ever force a blade.
• Do not cut towards yourself or others.
• Keep your tools sharp and cleaned.
• Be in control.

If you are going to carve on a block, foam, or rubber sheet:

• Sketch a design on paper with a pencil. (Keep in mind the size of your carving surface.)
• Transfer the design by rubbing the pencil onto the carving surface.
• Carve your design. (You can either carve in, tracing your lines, or around them.)
• Roll ink on the block with a brayer.
• Place a sheet of paper (or fabric) on the block and burnish (or rub) it with a flat surface to make sure that it makes contact with the block.
• Peel the paper/fabric off. (This can take a few tries to get it right.)

For this post I carved a circle composition with the Fibonacci sequence in mind. I think I run faster with math shirts, so I printed one as well:

One of my children jumped in and we did a Sierpinski potato triangle. To use potatoes: Draw a sketch on the potato, cut out the design, and then treat it like a stamp.

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