Mixed Media – Monochromatic Inuit Style String Prints

Growing up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan I grew up attending Pow-Wows and learning about the Potawantomi People.  My high school Mascot was an Eskimo we were the Escanaba Eskimos and honestly up until I did this lesson plan – every time I heard Eskimos I thought of Mo (the Mascot) not the Inuit People.   I did research on the Inuit People and found they did amazing prints.  The prints were first created on stone.  Once the English and French interacted with the Inuit, the Inuit people started using paper.  The Inuit use the curvy lines to show motion around the animal.  I needed to create a project that was cheap to make.  Most art classrooms have a budget of $0.03 per child per project ($0.10 if you are lucky) so if you have something that uses recycled items the cost is cut drastically.  This project is Mixed Media so you can essentially use anything you have laying around.  The string print “block” is created with cardboard, glue and yarn (for some reason you can always find yarn in an art classroom supply closet – any string would work).

The project is set up for 3 – 45 minute sessions.  The first one you create the print out of cardboard and yarn.  Since the glue won’t be dry in time you will need to break it up into two sections.  The second section will be the printing of the block (keep in mind most art classrooms only have 45 minutes of actual art time to work on a project).  The thrid section will be the actual mixed media project with crayons, paint markers, etc.  Since I had to come up with actual learning activities I needed to teach about art as well so I chose a monochromatic color scheme.

The purpose of this lesson is to provide students with an opportunity to create work from another culture using recycled items.  Students will create a mixed media Inuit style project using markers, crayons, Craypas, scrap paper, other recycled items and will learn about the culture of the Inuit.  Students will also learn about some of the formal elements of design, such as lines and color, which are at work in many mixed media designs, as well as drawings and paintings.

Observant Owl by Kenojuak Ashevak, Inuit (Cape Dorset)
2009 Collection

Stonecut & Stencil

18 1/2″ x 12 1/2″


Monochromatic – the use of one solid color in varying tints and tones of the hue
Tint – adding white to a color
Tone – adding black to a color
Hue – another name for a color (red, yellow, blue, etc.)
Brayer – used to role out ink and to apply to a block in the printing process
Printing Plate – used to put ink on so the brayer can role out the ink
Block – once carved can be loaded up with ink and printed multiple times

Cardboard 6″x6″ Square
Yarn in various sizes
White Glue
Ink Plate
Colored Pencils
Scrap Paper
Construction Paper in Various Colors

Block made from yarn and card board
Booga’s Print colored

The project is a lot of fun to create and I will be demoing the project on In the Paint Box today at Noon!  Hope you can join me then in the Creative EdVentures Linqto Room.

UPDATE:  It was brought to my attention the original photo I used was not Inuit it was Haida – I do apologize for any confusion this cause.

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