Visiting Artist Demonstrates Printmaking to Senior Art Students
In September, visual artist Beth Thielen visited Chatham High School’s senior fine arts workshop class to demonstrate etching and printing technique. As the students watched and learned, Thielen showed them how to ink a plate etching, how to properly handle the special paper used in printing, and how to operate a printing press.
“There is a discipline to printmaking,” said Thielen. “Each print has to be identical to the others, so you really have to pay attention to the details.”
Thielen is a professional artist who works in a variety of media, and has done much with printmaking and book design. As the guest of CHS art teacher Jude Harrigan, she will be making several visits to the class this quarter as the students etch, print and bind a class book of self-portraits. The project involves each of the students engraving a self-image onto a metal plate, which they will then use to make a series of prints. The students will also include a poetic narrative to accompany their image. Every student will then bind their own print with their classmate’s prints to make handmade books representing the entire class.
When finished, the books will be put on display at the school. After display, they will also be added to the students growing portfolios, and make for nice keepsakes to remember senior year by.
Thielen’s time spent with the senior fine arts workshop is part of a local visiting artist enrichment series at Chatham Central School District. The series will bring accomplished local artists together with students in each of the District’s three schools, and is made possible through a grant from the Chatham Education Foundation.