On Monday, we welcomed Alan Birch, a professional printer, back to Y3 for the second consecutive year. Once again, he brought his amazing printing press and showed us some of his stunning black and white prints.

This year, Alan inspired us to produce colour printing plates by looking at natural forms in the work of William Morris, Matisse and Ayres. We used patterned wallpaper and cut it into shapes, before arranging it onto a silver backing plates. The best bit was choosing the different colour combinations of ink, before hand-rolling our own prints. This was called relief printing because the ink stuck to the bits of the plate which were sticking out.

In the afternoon, we tried a different kind of printing. This was done using a technique called dry point. First we planned an underwater ocean scene on paper, which we then traced off onto silver card. We then used a sharp nail to outline our designs clearly and add effects such as cross hatching and stippling to create texture. The next step was to apply a thin layer of dry black ink, which filled up the tiny lines we had made. We wiped off the excess ink, then put our plates through the printing press at high pressure, printing onto wet paper. This was called intaglio printing because the ink stuck to the bits of the plate which were sticking in.

Here are some photos from our brilliant day. Thank you Alan!!