Lesson #4: Creating rubbings


How can we make a print from a collographic plate?
Students will be able to:
creating crayon rubbings from their collographic plates
evaluate their work to see if additional details are necessary
Students will understand that artists:
Reflect on the process of making art
Collographic student plates,  9x12 white drawing paper, newspaper to cover desk with, several coins, small pieces of white paper, pencils
Rubbings by Laye Andrew
Review the concept of rubbings by showing the book Rubbings, by Laye Andrew, and asking the following questions:
  • What do we call this technique?
  • How did the artist create these images?
  • What does the word rubbing mean?
Explain that rubbings can be made of anything that has a raised and lowered surface. For example, you can make a rubbing from a coin, like a penny or a quarter. Place a coin on each table along with small sheets of paper and pencils. Instruct students to take turns placing the paper over the coins and rubbing a pencil carefully and slowly over them. Compare the rubbings that you have made at the table. Decide which of them looks most like a coin.
  • How did that student use his/her pencil to get all the details?
  • What have you learned about making a rubbing? (apply pressure evenly, work slowly, etc.)
  You will notice that the edges of the design in the coin are what produces the darker lines. Now I'll do the same thing with a collographic plate that I have made. I will rub with pressure applied evenly and will work slowly to make sure I cover all the edges. (use graphite to make a rubbing from the collographic plate)
  • What part of this plate has made the darker lines?
  I'm going to make another rubbing, but this time I'm not going to press so hard. (demonstrate)
  • How is this collograph different from the first one I made?
  • What caused this difference?
  Now, I'm going to make another print, but this time I will use large colored crayons instead of graphite. I'm also going to layer several colors to add texture and depth. (demonstrate)
  • How is this rubbing different than the one I made with graphite?
  • What is texture?
  • Where can you find it in this rubbing?
  • What part of this rubbing looks empty, and needs more details? (make sure you have left one area of the plate empty so that it shows clearly in the print).
  • If this happens to you, what can you do? (add more details to the plate)
  Watch as I add more detail to this spot and make another print.
  • How has this one changed?
  • What does this teach you about how artists work? (they continually evaluate what they do and make changes as necessary)
Today you will do one rubbing using the graphite and one or more using the colored crayons. Use tape to secure paper to plate (tabs on opposite corners works well), to prevent shifting during rubbing.   When you have finished, share your work with a classmate to see if you need to do more work on the plate, by adding details. At the end of the class, we will be sealing your work with a brush and a gesso/acrylic medium. This will protect the work you have done. Just bring your finished work to this table, and I will show you what to do.
The reflection is built into worktime in this lesson, as the students use their rubbings (which are artworks themselves) to self-assess and decide whether to add further detail or not.
Experiment with rubbings with various natural materials and materials they find in the class. Suggest items with textures that can make interesting and successful rubbings.