“Papiers Collés” Workshop at the STPI
What do you get when 9 eager children walk into a real printing studio and get to try their hand at “feeling like Matisse”?
As with all my workshops inspired by an artist, we get inspiration from the images created by the artist, we try to feel like the artist felt. But we don’t try to reproduce the artist’s work. In this case, on Saturday, 24th May, in the afternoon, at the STPI, the children became acquainted with some of Matisse’s “Papier Collés” before trying something out for themselves.
The picture above represents the result of the first experiment:
Each child was given a pair of scissors and a piece of foam. They were asked to cut directly into the foam, feel the scissors cutting through colour. There can be no wrong. Every shape is legitimate. If we don’t like our shape, we can always re-cut it a bit. No pencils, no erasers, no lines – freedom!
Once all the children had one or 2 shapes ready, they all gathered around a piece of cardboard: our “printing plate”. Everyone had a go at re-arranging the shapes. We tried to pay attention to the space in between the shapes as much as the space from the shapes. Then, after recording where each piece should sit, each child chose a colour for their piece and went to roll ink on it. The inked pieces were re-asseembled and the whole composition printed.
The foam pieces were printed again, into a slightly different composition.
After that, the children understood the process, we aware of the difference between overlapping the pieces, and of how to pay attention to the white space between the pieces, and of how you may not only choose “your favorite colour” to produce a successful composition.
Unfortunately, I do not have any record of these second experiments, since the children printed and then brought home their work, titled, numbered and signed. No time for a family picture!
If you think you would like to experiment with shapes and colours too, you can catch one of my printmaking workshops this holiday (Print your Book, June 3rd and Jazz: Collaborative book printing, at the STPI). Make sure you Sign Up early!