Skip's class taught children the basics of printing through the creation of personal and collaborative totems using wood blocks, which he hand-carved using Native American design. (A totem is an animal image that helps us relate to the spirits of nature.) After selecting an animal to depict, one that they felt a personal draw to, students created created an "image" of that animal from a selection of the available blocks.
This design was then printed twice on brown kraft paper using black ink. One copy of each totem was printed and mounted to take home, and one was used to make "puppets" - or moveable figures for display. The first step was to cut the block print into its parts (head, leg, tail, etc.). Next they were glued to correspondingly-cut, black foam board. Once this was done, all the (body) parts needed to create a 2-D puppet were complete. The last step was to join the pieces back together with round-headed paper fasteners.
Skip also had the students create print collaborations using the same technique, working in groups to choose the blocks and inks. Sharing in the printing process resulted in huge seven foot prints that all had a hand in designing and creating.
These puppets made for a spectacular display at Stuart's Opera House at our 2011 exhibit.