The Everyday Print

Everyday Investigation

Many artists have been fascinated with the idea of an everyday object in a unique form. Either by changing where it is, or the size, or even just focusing on details in a unique way. This next investigation take something from your everyday life & focus on it’s every detail creating something worth looking at and appreciating.

  • How can I turn something ordinary or unnoticed into something extraordinary?
  • Why would I focus on this object?
  • Can simple things be appreciated aesthetically?

Famous Art That Features Everyday Objects:

Wayne Thiebaud

Wayne Thiebaud is known for his luscious paintings of cakes, pies and other treats. He is associated with the Pop Art movement because the objects in his paintings were always something that could be found on a production line. Thiebaud always chose to paint objects that were mass produced and could be readily found around him. He illustrated this fact by repeating the objects within each painting using thick paint and stark/contrasting shadows.

Claus Oldenberg

oldenburg banana

Claes Oldenburg was a sculptor associated with the Pop Art movement in mid 20th centruy. His large-scale sculptures of mundane objects elicited public ridicule before being embraced as whimsical, insightful, and fun additions to public outdoor art.

Jeff Koons


Jeff Koons was also a sculptor who began working during the Pop Art movement to recreate inanimate objects on a very large scale. Critics and viewers seem to have different opinions on his work. Some view it to be beautifully simple and also daring, while others believe it to be very kitch: crass and materialistic. Either way, Jeff Koons made a name for himself. On November 12, 2013, Koons’s Balloon Dog (Orange) sold at Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale in New York for $58.4 million, above its high $55 million estimate, becoming the most expensive work by a living artist sold at auction. Jeff Koons is from York, Pennsylvania!

Everyday Objects in Print and Pattern

Screen-printing - NICHOLAS JOHN FRITH Illustration Design & Printmaking:

Our screw hook print from the late 19th century. | The Design Center at Philadelphia University houses 200,000+ objects related to textiles and fashion. All photographs copyright The Design Center.:

Unit Objective: I will use block printing and screen printing techniques to create a dynamic pattern that makes a conceptual connection between man-made objects and nature.


You must take notes during demonstrations!

You will be quizzed on printmaking processes at end of unit!

If you get confused on a step, ask 3 before me!


STEPS of the Unit:

  1. Draw manufactured in pen and ink. (Sketchbook 9)
  2. Select organic object and draw in pen and ink.
  3. Simplify drawings and turn in to Ms. Rhodes.
  4. Cut out photocopied drawing and arrange to create pattern and background. (Sketchbook 10)
  5. Create relief block prints.
  6. Create paper stencil for screen printing.
  7. Screen print paper stencil to create background.
  8. Print stencil using screen printing.
  9. Print block on top.
  10. Finish!


What is Block Printing?

Block Printing is one of the oldest types of printmaking, and has been around for thousands of years.  There is evidence that it existed as early as the fifth century BC, with actual fragments found from as early as the fifteenth century.  It has been done around the world, with roots in India, China and Japan.

Since there is such a long history of block printing, there are many different techniques, but it is essentially using a carved material covered in ink to transfer an image on to paper or fabric.  Block printing can be done with wood, linoleum, rubber, or many other materials, but I use linoleum for my work.

Images that are printed with this technique are typically much bolder than other types of printmaking: since the blocks are carved by hand, there is often less detail and more texture to the prints.  It is possible however, when using a very small knife, to carve blocks with a huge amount of detail.


Screen Printing

What is screen printing? 

Screen printing is a printing technique whereby a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. A blade or squeegee is moved across the screen to fill the open mesh apertures with ink, and a reverse stroke then causes the screen to touch the substrate momentarily along a line of contact. This causes the ink to wet the substrate and be pulled out of the mesh apertures as the screen springs back after the blade has passed.

Basically, it is the process of using a mesh-based stencil to apply ink onto a substrate, whether it be T-shirts, posters, stickers, vinyl, wood, or other material.