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October 12, 2017 05:27 PM

Steamroller Prints

Art students at Augustana University had to get a little creative to finish their latest class assignment. 

A lot of us have seen screen printing done before on t-shirts, it's usually in a little area, but when the print is a lot larger, like the size of a banner,  you need something much bigger to act as the printing press.
Wyatt Dickson and his classmates were 'hard pressed' to finish their latest print making project assigned by their teacher, so they had to call in some heavy equipment; a steamroller. 

"With this you need a large amount of pressure to actually get the images to come through," Dickson said. 

This is called woodblock printing, only, it's on a much larger scale.  The students ink up their creations and designs that are carved into the wood. 

They place a large fabric over that and then place another piece of wood on top of the fabric. 

The rest is left up to the steamroller.  

"With things this size to get the amount of detail out of it, you have to use a  large amount of pressure going over it evenly throughout the whole thing," Dickson said. 

Their teacher has done this type of screen printing in other states, but it's the first time he's actually done it here at Augie, paving the way for perhaps other community projects. 

"It gets students working together collaboratively, I guess the idea of making a print that sort of bigger than what you're used to working on, I think has a lot of value too," art teacher Scott Parsons said. 

Of course, it wouldn't be made possible without the help of Myrl and Roys Paving which donated the steamroller and its operator.

"You know, wherever we see any opportunities we can help out with some neighbors or anything by our locations, we try to do that," Patty Nohr of Myrl and Roy's said. 

By rolling with the punches, this artwork is turning out picture perfect.

The students made approximately 50 large-scale prints in five hours on Augustana's campus as part of homecoming week. 

Some of them will be on display in the Visual Arts Center.

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