Kitchen Table Printing: Get Creative with Monoprints!

My fondness for using recycled materials in art knows no bounds. So when we were planning the Fall 2018 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors, one article had to be included: kitchen table printing using juice boxes, from artist Roseane Viegas. Circumstances led Roseane to develop this technique, which is so brilliant that I had to try it. I wasn’t disappointed, and you won’t be, either.

This kitchen table printing method is so accessible—no cumbersome printmaking tools are needed!

I love printing and am always looking for innovative ways to make prints. This monoprinting method spoke to me, and I was super intrigued by the idea of using an aseptic container as a printing surface. Roseane thought the metallized interior would make a great base, and she was right! This technique produces stunning prints that are so easy to do.

The set-up only took a few minutes. I cut open and washed a vegetable broth container, but juice boxes work well too. You can leave the box as is, or cut it into smaller shapes. I got three shapes out of mine: a rectangle, a circle, and a freeform shape. I also folded and scrunched the pieces to get lots of lines and wrinkles—the more the merrier, as far as I’m concerned.

The beauty of working with aseptic containers for printing is that you can cut them into any shape you like.

Roseane’s article includes all the setup instructions, such as what type of printing ink to use, how to ink up a plate, how to prepare the paper, and how to create a registration for the prints. I used Rives printing paper, but you can experiment with various types of printing papers.

My first print was with the rectangle shape, using shades of ochre and rust on the metallic surface, and blue on a piece of gauze, which I added for texture.

Flat materials, like this scrap of gauze fabric, work best for adding texture and patterns.

This truly is kitchen table printing, since you don’t need a press or any fancy equipment to create gorgeous monoprints. I merely pressed the back of the print with a wooden spoon, and the ink and textures transferred perfectly!

Great prints can be made using the back of a wooden spoon—just make sure it’s dedicated for art, and not cooking!

Here is the first print, plus a ghost print, which is a second print done without re-inking.

Make sure you create a ghost print after making a print—the ink left on the plate can produce another great image.

After this, I was off and running. Roseane offers tons of great tips, such as the best types of materials to use to add designs and texture to your prints, plus advice and ideas for color palettes and making different kinds of prints.

These prints were made using part of a plastic fruit bag, and I added Payne’s gray ink to the palette:

Not only can you recycle juice boxes for this kitchen table printing, but other materials as well, like this plastic mesh fruit bag.

Here’s a print and a ghost using that freeform shape, plus some tulle. The learning curve with these water-soluble printing inks is quick, and their long open time makes them a pleasure to work with.

Try a variety of natural and man-made items for making prints—you never know what will become an amazing print.

This close-up shows you how detailed you can get with these prints—see the tiny tulle texture? In person this image looks 3-D.

Even a material as thin as tulle produces great images.

These were made with the circle shape, plus a cut piece of punchinella, or sequin waste. Love these. The ghost print reveals the polka dot pattern from the punchinella.

Continuing designs off the printing plate adds interest.

Another piece of punchinella was cut in a heart shape to make this:

Thin materials that are easily cut, such as lightweight plastic or lace, can produce myriad patterns.

I would have gone on for another couple of hours, but this kitchen table printing was interrupted by another kitchen table activity: dinner. But now that I know how easy and fun this technique is, you’d better believe I’ll be back at it soon. This is one project you truly have to try, as the results are so incredible and creatively satisfying.

You can make a ton of prints in a short period of time with kitchen table printing.

The prints can be used for cards, collage, or incorporated in your art journal. I drew a messy leaf branch in pen and ink over this ghost print for an art journal page.

Once the printing ink is dry, incorporate these prints in your favorite mixed-media projects.

There are lots more ideas in the Fall 2018 issue for using recycled materials in your mixed-media art, and you can see many of them in this lookbook preview!

This gel printing tutorial from Dina Wakley produces fantastic vibrant results on tags.

Get this and more recycling ideas for mixed-media art projects in the Fall 2018 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors.
Unleash your printmaking potential by using stencils, masks, and more to create phenomenal designs. Traci Bautista takes you through every step in the video Art Journaling Live: Printmaking Unleashed.
Printmaking + Mixed Media by Dorit Elisha offers simple printmaking techniques that have a big impact.
Discover 11 printing techniques for fabric, plus lots of inspiration, in Intentional Printing by Lynn Krawczyk.


Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques, Printmaking


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