Fourth-grade students at Sag Harbor Elementary have been conjoining art projects with fall objects, including a new venture into leaf printmaking. With their art teacher, Lisa Miller, the students examined the differences between the leaves in our natural environment and created burlap designs. 

By spending time outdoors, the students were able to find their own leaves and sticks in preparation for their final product. They created detailed drawings for each leaf species including the maple, oak, and dogwood to fully examine the leaf’s color, texture, and veins. 

Together, the students learned how to use both natural and artificial objects for printmaking. They experienced the effect of "printing" an object with an opposite image and learned how to use the ink and brayer properly.

“There were a lot of ‘wow, this is so satisfying’ comments when a leaf covered in ink was successfully transferred onto the paper or the burlap,” said Miller. “Not every transfer was a success and students would need to go back and try it again. Other's experimented with overlapping and composition.”

For this project, students played with different shades of orange in their printmaking designs. The final prints were made on pieces of burlap that the students bordered with found sticks to complete the natural theme. 

“I believe overall, this project provided an outlet of respect for our surroundings. They really enjoyed searching the outdoors to find the sticks to glue around the edges to create a natural frame,” explained Miller.

Photo caption: Fourth-grade students at Sag Harbor Elementary learn about different natural leaf species and create printmaking designs. (Isabelle Dureka and Aidan Gomez)