Pronto Plates in the Classroom

student-litho

I’ve been using Pronto Plates in my own work for the last few years.  I’ve taught a number of photo-lithography workshops to adults and high school teachers, but it wasn’t until my proposal was accepted for the MAEA and NAEA conventions this year that I was willing to give it a try in my elementary art room. The process for a typical photo-litho workshop can be found here: Pronto Plate Tutorial

If you are new to Pronto Plates (also called polyester plate lithography), the following video talks a bit about imaging them:

 

My last adult class managed to get ink EVERYWHERE. I knew this time that the challenge was going to be finding a way to make it as simple as possible and easy to clean up.  I started with cleanup and worked my way backwards. A bit of trial and error led me to the “tin foil method” that you will see in the video below.  Plexi was too expensive.  Saran wrap was too clingy. Wax paper stretched when wet.  Tin foil was just right 🙂

Another major concern was trying to share my press with 20+ students.  I tried running a print through a pasta machine and was thrilled to find out that it worked as an etching press.  When they went on sale for $12 at a local craft store, I bought one for each table in my room. I sewed two pieces of craft felt together to make “blankets” for my mini press. I practiced with some willing co-workers, tweaked the process, and ended up with the following method:

 

Clean up is as easy as I could make it.  Basically, you need to clean the brayer with vegetable oil, then an alcohol wipe.  Everything else goes in the trash.

hickory-dickory

 

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2 Responses to Pronto Plates in the Classroom

  1. Jenkins-Freels says:

    AWESOME !!!!!!!
    The best tutorial on pronto plates I have seen. Am excited to begin this process with my Art 1 high school students. I only have one press so the pasta press is affordable and something that the students will enjoy using in the process. Love your clean up….

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