Professional Learning and Development

Article Detail

Tuesday 23 April 2013
Mandy Jakich

Learning Through the Creative Process - SCREEN PRINTMAKING.

Professional Learning and Development for teachers has started up again at Auckland Art Gallery! 

Learning through the creative process we explored examples of screen prints in the collection, experimented with techniques and styles, created paper and fabric screen prints and then shared ways these techniques could be implemented successfully in our classrooms. Junior and intermediate teachers and a teacher of students with special needs participated enthusiastically in a busy 5 hour session - so enthusiastically nobody wanted to stop for lunch! 

We began by exploring the Auckland Art Gallery Print Room with Assistant Curator Mathew Norman. Mathew showed four different examples of screen prints from our collection and spoke about the time they were made, the  techniques used and the style of the work.


Mathew explained the use of the room, the storage of artworks on paper and the precise conditions that need to be maintained in the space to ensure the artworks would be safe and well preserved for the future.


Back in the studio, we explored other screen prints on paper and fabric from our collection. In groups, we tried to work out the process. How had these works been made? What would need to have been considered? How has colour been used?

Focusing on screen printing on paper, we discussed possible backgounds for the print such as collage, paint, sprayed dye, brushed on dye or coloured inks. We thenexperimented with different designs, materials and techniques to create a backgound on paper and a design to go on top. The designs were photocopied and made into a number of different stencils.

Some problems needed to be solved before moving to the next stage!

Then the screen printing on paper creating began!

Followed by screen printing on fabric.

Finally, we came together and shared our reactions to the process, how we learnt through the creative process, how we problem solved, made modifications and refined our ideas. This lead to great discussion on exactly how we could follow this process and teach screen printing in our own classrooms.

Feedback from the teachers:

  • 'A wonderful environment to create without the fear of failure. A perfect mix of talking and sharing paired with creating, exploring and experimenting. A fabulous day that seemed to zoom through - a great example of a fun day!'  Year 1 classroom teacher.
  • 'The content was awesome! I've gathered many ideas to use in class. I enjoyed being allowed to work at my own pace and problem solve my own artwork.'  Intermediate art specialist teacher.
  • 'I achieved my goals. Great facilitator, very welcoming and plenty of opportunity to explore. I will definitely build these techniques into term 2 and 3 planning.' Teacher of 5-21 year old children with special needs.

How have you implemented screen print making in your classroom?

Useful links:
Find out how silk screens are made and watch a number of different screen printing processes.
The process and history of screen printing. Famous screen print artists.