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A Bit of Arty Recycling with Foam Printmaking Blocks

Yesterday we took a family trip to the recycling yard (as you do), and I found some boxes of sticky foam sponge shapes, that I assume were meant to be used as packaging somehow.

The type of foam reminded me of the kind used to make Art Foamies, so I stuck them onto three cork place-mats, and now I have a new set of printing blocks!

Printing plate made from sponges and an old placemat

(Above) This one was inspired by the Mid Century Modern school of design. I might carve some little flower and motif stamps to print over the top. Or maybe some fish.

(Below) I decided to see what I could do with all of the pieces that had been cut up and the odd shapes. This block was inspired by the designs on the Pyrmont incinerator designed by Walter Burley Griffin in the 1930’s. I had the honour of seeing it shortly before it was demolished. The architectural detail was stunning even in the state of decay it was suffering in 1990.

Printing plate made from sponges and an old placemat

I used the last of the foamy sponge pieces at an angle, a bit like herringbone brickwork, only with two sizes of oblongs and great big gaps 🙂

Printing plate made from sponges and an old placemat

These are multi purpose plates. I can roll paint onto them using a foam brayer and print with them that way. I can sponge colours on for a multi-colour effect, or use them as texture plates with a gelli plate. I have so much experimenting to do! I think I’ll start with printing some fabric.

I also found this little bonus in one of the pots of foam pieces. It looks like the previous owner had a similar idea to mine as they had made a little set of round stamps.

Foam stamps

Do you like printing on fabric or using gelli plates? Leave a comment with a link to your work becuase I’d love to take a look!


Posted in Printmaking