Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Artist Trading Cards- Foil Relief

My students have been working hard on their Artist Trading Cards for our Swap.  I plan the swap early in the year to get them excited about ATC's for their 4th-grade education but after teaching them about quality, cutting their cards and what a card is... there is usually only two or three classes where students create before sending the cards out for the trade. This means there is less choice in ATC's and more exposure to a new medium or process.

This year we are doing low relief rubbings.  I have seen this project on so many blogs around the world.  Some of them include; Art Club Blog, Fine Line, The IB Art SchoolSebenta, Art Projects for Kids, Cassie Stephens, and so many other posts, many of which I found on this Pinterest board by Chris Sholl.  This is not a new project in the art world... but it sure is to my students in class. They loved creating these amazing little works of art!

I supplied each table with a bunch of fun textures to design their card with.  We also went outside to gather a leaf... we don't have long and all the leaves will be gone. I instructed the students to create their composition as shown in the video below.

My past several lunch breaks have looked like this... me shoving some food in my face, running outside and placing all the cards in these boxes.  I quickly spray them and get them in my room by the end of lunch.  Whew... mission accomplished... in walks my next class.

I place the cards in the class drawer with names up so kids can easily find their cards when they come in the next class.  We are working on another type of card on day two, so the rubbing portion of the ATC is done as a station.

The station is set up with rubbing mats.  I did have to instruct the students how to peel apart the steel wool and remind them they can press too hard.  It takes a lot of passes... but pressure is not what you need.

I did a "check" before they would be excepted.  The cards must be the right size and they must be quality (with abilities of the artist in mind). Students completed the card information and I placed the info. sheet on the back of the cardboard with hot glue.

They turned out great and the kids thought this was magic!! 

I also tried a colored version.  I used sharpie marker on the card and did the same rubbing.  The effect wasn't as strong as I found the black and white to be.  It is a good alternative for students who didn't get a chance to place the tin foil on during the first class. 


  1. Thank you for posting this wonderful technique! I love the results of this.

  2. awesome Thanks for the detailed directions. I will try this next year>