One of the lithographs created at #TBT with the Wilson Collection
For the last Throwback Thursday with the Wilson Collection (in the Teen Area), we did a craft that was more personal to the Wilson Collection. As I’ve discussed before, the Wilson Collection is a unique collection not only because of the variety of books included, but also because of the type of illustrations created for the books. Each book was specially designed and created, this includes the method of printing that was used for the illustrations.
To name a few of the various methods of illustration, the Collection includes water color, wood cuts, line drawings, and photogravures. But the type I chose to highlight was lithography, because it is a popular method of printing within the Wilson Collection and simply because it looks cool.
Lithography = the process of printing from a plane surface (as a smooth stone or metal plate) on which the image to be printed is ink-receptive and the blank area ink-repellent.
This sounds complicated but it is really not, and it can be done on different surfaces as mentioned – either stone or metal plate. Or in this case for the Throwback Thursday craft, cheaper materials can be used such as paper plates or Styrofoam. It is also a printing practice that has been around for centuries and is still used today to produce artwork, newspapers, posters, books, maps – you name it!
Here’s how you can create your very own lithograph:
Step 1: Collect your materials -
- Styrofoam plates
- Chop sticks or mechanical pencils (we used mechanical pencils and they worked great)
- Paint (washable is best because a mess will ensue)
- Foam brushes
Step 2: We cut the lid from the plate to provide a flatter surface to work with. The photo to the right demonstrates this.
Step 3: Choose what picture you would like to draw; some people drew freehand while others used stencils. Begin drawing your picture as deeply as you can into the plate without poking holes. Again, mechanical pencils without the lead is great, as well as chopsticks. Chopsticks actually provide a wider cut and defines the picture better.
Step 4: Now you can paint! We coated our pictures with at least 2-3 layers of paint to be sure every part was covered.
Step 5: Flip your plate over and place it onto a clean piece of paper. Press down for a few seconds to let the paint sink in.
Step 6: Lift your plate and you are left with a pretty awesome lithograph! And it’ll look like Monet or Picasso did it!
And now, check out a few of the books from the Wilson Collection that have pretty awesome lithographs:
The Tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
Limited Edition Collection: 1949
Illustrator/Artist: Edward Ardizzone
Type of Art: Colored Lithographs
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontё
Limited Edition Collection: 1993
Types of Art: Lithographs
Porgy & Bess by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin
Arion Press: 2013
Illustrator/Artist: Kara Walker
Types of Art: 16 B&W lithographs
For more detailed information about this unique book from Arion, or to see more pictures, click the following link to go to the catalog page for Porgy & Bess on the Arion Press website.
Biotherm by Frank O’Hara
Arion Press: 1990
Illustrator/Artist: Jim Dine
Types of Art: 42 lithographic prints
For more detailed information about this unique book from Arion, or to see more pictures, click the following link to go to the catalog page for Biotherm on the Arion Press website.
The Throwback Thursday with the Wilson Collection program ended for the school year in May. It will begin again in September, recurring every second Thursday in the Teen area. #Tbt with the Wilson Collection is a program for Teens, but viewing the books is not. The Wilson Collection in the East Reading Room is open to anyone to check out during regular Library hours. It is located on the 3rd floor of the Main Downtown Library (next to the Fine Arts area).
If you are interested in viewing these books or any others individually, you can make an appointment by calling either (615) 880-2356 or (615) 880-2363, or simply respond to this blog post.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for an even more special Off-the-Shelf post next month!