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Old 04-04-2012, 04:55 PM
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Tonalea Tonalea is offline
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Teaching Scratchboard

Hey all! Long time, no see! I just wanted to drop in and say hi, school is still going well. In fact, I just received an email about our multi arts center needing people to teach summer classes for the community and I'm seriously thinking about pitching a scratch board class to them! Any tips on teaching this in a community setting?

If I ever get internet access at home again, I'll start posting what I've been doing! Unfortunately, very little of it is scratchboard, but in the fall I am taking an advanced drawing course where we are encouraged to experiment and I'll probably try working some scratchboard in there!
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:10 PM
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PatrickHedges PatrickHedges is offline
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Re: Teaching Scratchboard

The main thing I'd say is make certain there's room in their budget for materials so everyone can try.

Good luck with it. Your work is excellent so you should go well if you get the gig.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:14 PM
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Re: Teaching Scratchboard

Patrick's point is well taken; I've never taught a class for which at least some of the financial burden for supplies didn't fall on my shoulders.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:45 PM
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Tonalea Tonalea is offline
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Re: Teaching Scratchboard

Good point, I'd have to talk to them about that. I'd get paid $10 an hour, so that would help some. Great talking point when I go talk to them about potentially doing it, however. Thanks!
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:35 AM
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Re: Teaching Scratchboard

They should allow you to charge a "materials fee" to be collected (and paid directly to you) in class. When I teach, I provide the scratchboard and some materials and the students have to get the rest prior to the first class. You should have some extra items on hand for them to share or purchase from you if they don't have everything they need.

If it helps, you can look up my class outline and materials list on this page (scroll down to the drawing of the puppy): http://www.annran.com/pages/class_info.html
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:56 PM
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Re: Teaching Scratchboard

Thanks, Ann, I'll check that out!

I have a few other things I'd like to bounce off of all of you!

I need a course description, and here is a rough first draft. Here's what I have so far:

" Scratchboard is a medium much like drawing that it lends itself to creating dramatic pieces with high value contrast as well as careful rendering of details, which makes it fabulous for animal portraits. We will be working on Ampersand brand clayboards that have a white, hardened clay layer with a very thin layer of black ink over the top of it. The artist then scratches the black layer with a variety of tools, exposing the white layer underneath. This is a subtractive method of drawing, where the marks you make are actually the highlights, not the shadows. An understanding of using value to create three-dimensionality is always beneficial to the artist and will be covered in this course. You will learn to use a variety of tools to create marks on the board, as well as the option of experimenting with other mark making techniques. Towards the end of this course, I will also cover using Ampersand inks, if you’d like to add color to a piece.
We will begin working on a 5 x 7” piece to become comfortable with the medium, with the option of working larger. The subject matter may be whatever you choose, although due to the nature of the line work, a furry animal is a great subject for the beginner scratchboarder!"


I also have a few questions. What age groups should I allow? I'm not sure how young I can go, since the tools are sharp and if you aren't careful handling them, can obviously be dangerous. I was thinking 13+, but I'm totally open to suggestions! There's also the question of how many students I can teach at once. I can dictate my class size and how often and for how long we meet. I was thinking once a week for two hours for a few weeks? But I'm really at a loss.



Supply list- I’m thinking the 5x7” kit with the tool would be a great start. Maybe offer a class after the initial class that offers a deeper look into larger pieces and a variety of methods. Maybe a section that introduces color as well? I think I could probably go ahead and supply the ink for that.


I did learn that the students can go buy their own kits as they can use the 40% coupon at Hobby Lobby. But I really don't mind supplying ink to a modestly sized class. I have plenty. My understanding is that anything I supply I am reimbursed for, but I don't really care about the ink much, since I have a lot of it anyway.

Any long term or short term problems with scratchboard/dust? Should I recommend people that have sensitive respiratory systems wear a dust mask? It's never bothered me, but I guess it might bother some people. I'm also going to supply a few drafting brushes to brush dust off so that people aren't blowing it off, so that should help.





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Old 04-06-2012, 09:09 PM
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Re: Teaching Scratchboard

Love your course description Kristen.

Why don't you contact Ampersand direct, explain your are doing classes and they may supply you with some practice pieces free of charge. They are great people to work with. No harm done if they say no. I know they will supply brochures at least.

I used to allow participants to use my inks also. I took my inktense pencils along for them to try out too. If you are doing a once only workshop, I would get them to use the same reference. It can be difficult to control a class all working on different refs. I never take more than 12 a class for workshops. That number keeps me busy the whole time. My workshops usually run for 5 hours with a small lunch break in between. I think 2-3 hours for a class is a reasonable time though.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:56 PM
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Re: Teaching Scratchboard

Kristen, I have my foot in the door to also teach, but nothing set in stone yet (just have them thinking about it right now, but it sounds promising). I was thinking of a workshop in b/w only, using the inks as shading, etc. Then another course in color inking. I think it would be good to do 2 courses. Let them learn the depth of the black and being able to practice before adding color. You could do the beginning course one week and the color course the next week. Just a thought.
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Old 04-07-2012, 01:26 AM
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Re: Teaching Scratchboard

Thanks Lesley, that's a great idea, I think I'll contact them tomorrow! I thought about doing a one day workshop in addition to offering a more in depth course over a few weeks (which is why I was thinking 2-3 hours would work well, since we'll be meeting multiple times). I think with a 2-3 hour course that meets for a few weeks (once a week), I could squeeze in some color work at the end of it. The format is pretty much entirely up to me.

Instead of doing a one day scratchboard workshop, however, I think I'm going to look into offering a monotype workshop, since those can be hand rubbed/printed. The biggest problem there are using affordable inks that are safe for kids and don't require harsh solvents to clean up... I've got to look into that one.

This proposal is due on Monday, so I've gotta get to work! Haha
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:18 AM
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Diane Cutter Diane Cutter is offline
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Re: Teaching Scratchboard

Lesley's right... Contact Ampersand and let them know you are teaching a class. They were lovely and sent me two little boxes of 5"x3-1/2" boards and promotional pamphlets. I think there were about 20 in each box. That was enough to give each student two, one for learning how to use the tools and what the different marks looked like and one for doing an actual 'masterpiece'. I've given 3 classes now with that stash but these were all artists, not kids, who were happy to go home from a 3 hour session and work on larger boards.

If you've already gone with the monotype proposal, keep Ampersand in the back of your mind for another class proposal.

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Old 04-10-2012, 10:28 AM
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Re: Teaching Scratchboard

Well as long as everything goes smoothly, I'll be teaching a class in June and one in July! I'm off to contact Ampersand now!
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:52 AM
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Re: Teaching Scratchboard

Contacted Ampersand and am getting some sample panels for the classes! Yay! I also let the director at the Multi Arts Center know about that, and he seemed pretty pleased. =) So I'm guessing I'm getting to teach this summer!
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:43 AM
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Re: Teaching Scratchboard

Great news, Kristen!!!
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:51 AM
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Re: Teaching Scratchboard

Great, Kristen... good for the lovely people at Ampersand. Maybe scratchboard will eventually go mainstream...

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Old 04-11-2012, 09:21 AM
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Re: Teaching Scratchboard

I use to take adult evening classes at a local high school and the way they worked it was to offer a beginners class in the fall which usually lasted about 6 weeks and then another more advanced class over the winter for the same amount of time. You would meet once a week for 2-2 1/2 hrs. There were some classes that also ran at the same time but different days.
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