Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Printmaking With Play Dough - Step One: Making Homemade Play dough


I have been trying out different printmaking ideas to do with my younger students.  In a previous post I experimented with making and then printing on gelatin printing plates.  I wasn't completely satisfied with the results and decided to try using play dough.

First, here's the recipe for making homemade play dough.  I found it in a kid's cookbook that my aunt had bought my mother years ago as a joke.  Regardless of this fact I still managed to almost mess up the recipe.

You Need:

1 cup white flour
1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
2 teaspoons food colouring (optional)

Mix the flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a medium sized pot.  Add the water, oil, and food colouring.  Stir everything over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes.  When the mixture forms a ball in the centre of the pot, turn off the stove and let it cool.  Then take it out of the pot and put it on a floured surface and knead it until it gets a silky texture.  When your done put the play dough in a plastic bag or airtight container and store it in the fridge.


The first time I made my play dough I forgot to add the oil, and had to knead it in at the end (the dough still turned out fine).  Since I inadvertently changed the recipe on my first attempt, I made a second batch.  This time I added some gel food colouring in with the water.  I decided on purple but it ended up looking more of an unappealing grayish colour (eerily similar to what I imagine when hearing the words 'gelatinous goo')



***On a side note I have repeatedly read that adding sugar free kool aid to the recipe creates fantastic colours.


As of now, my play dough has been sitting in my fridge for almost two weeks and is still good.  Okay, now take a walk outside and gather leaves, find some random object to make interesting impressions, and grab some paint (acrylic/tempera) because in the next post we'll be creating our prints!



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