Five Dollar Challenge

Here’s the story of a Valentine’s Day project that didn’t quite come together in the end. The creative process isn’t a straight path that always leads to beautiful results. Keep that in mind as I walk you through my attempt.

I challenged myself to come up with a project for a class of 25 students with only $5. Dollar store–here I come! I wanted to make something that’s not too crafty, so that I could touch on the standards that art teachers need to cover. Nothing says crafty like heart doilies, but I bought them anyway along with black paint and red paint and some florist foam.

I’ve been wanting to experiment with florist foam for awhile. I thought it could work well for printmaking. The store had big blocks of foam so I cut them into 25 pieces with a bread knife. First, I drew designs in the foam with a pencil but it didn’t print well.Then I tried pressing into the foam with the eraser end of the pencil. I painted the foam and used it as a printing block.The result is a polka dot pattern. I liked the results and I figured out how to do printmaking with florist foam! It also touches on a few art teaching standards: printmaking, patterns, positive & negative. Success… but wait, what to do with the heart doily?

First, I drew on it with crayons and painted over it with watered down red paint, But I didn’t like the results. However, it made a nice negative image of the doily on the paper I put behind it to protect the table. Maybe I can do something with that? …Nope! I tried but it just didn’t come together. That gave me the idea to paint and cut out a red heart to put behind the doily for a pop of color. I wrote I ❤ U using two fingerprints to make the heart.

Overall … eh. I’m happy with the printmaking results, but the doily part needs more work.

Stay tuned, the next blog post will show how I resolved the project.

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