Free Ink Day is a program hosted four times annually at Highpoint Center for Printmaking. It’s the perfect way for an interested person of any age to dabble in printmaking without committing to a full class. Having brought young children to Free Ink Day, I have a few tips that may be helpful for those also contemplating introducing their kids to the art:
1) Have the kids arrive chock full of inspiration! Or, at least with an idea or two. A sketch couldn’t hurt, either. The central activity at Free Ink Day was creating relief prints on rubber templates a bit smaller than a postcard. The prints are made by carving a design into the rubber, coating the plate with ink, then pressing the plate onto a paper card. The biggest challenge in this process was coming up with a design, which leads me to suggest…
2) Plan to spend at least an hour designing, carving, inking and printing the kids’ creations. Free Ink Day spans three hours, but we came near the end in order to catch a special puppet show put on by Open Eye Figure Theatre. As a result, the kids were rushed in their printmaking, one squeaked in a print by the skin of her teeth, and it was semi-stressful scrubbing everyone’s hands clean in time for the show.
3) Budget time for cleanup! This one should definitely not be overlooked. Printmaking can be messy business. Aprons are provided, but you might want to dress in clothes you don’t care much for, just to be on the safe side.
Free Ink Day at Highpoint Center for Printmaking
912 W Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Activities are open to all ages, but most kids 5 & under will need a significant amount of help with the printmaking tools. No advance registration is required.