Tumbleweed Press

tumble light blue lino


A6’s Tumbleweed Press is an arts education program rooted in printmaking and book arts. Most schools do not have the equipment or facility available to offer instruction in these art forms. Tumbleweed Press leverages the professional print studio at A6 to give teachers and students new experiences in visual arts.

Tumbleweed Press connects printmaking and book arts with a variety of subjects—from sciences to language arts—to promote deeper student engagement and enhanced learning.

Projects are designed for middle school and high school students and are tied to Oregon State Education Standards.

Tumbleweed Press projects are highly flexible and take place both in the classroom and at the A6 Print Studio in the Old Mill District. By strategically planning class visits to A6 for presswork, schools can minimize the instructional time lost during travel. A6 trains teachers on techniques needed for the class-based portions of the project.

Download our 2014-15 Tumbleweed Handbook

Program Steps

1. Explore funding options
Your school administration or PTO may have funds available for your class to participate in Tumbleweed Press. (Use our sample letter to request funds.) Let us know you’re interested—we may be able to secure sponsorships or grant funds for your class project.

2. Pick a project
Select one of the pre-designed projects in this guide, or work with us to develop a project tailored to specific curriculum. A6’s Education Coordinator can suggest projects based on specific requirements. Our Education Coordinator will help you develop a project timeline, secure supplies, and schedule training and class visits.

3. Become our student
Tumbleweed Press projects can include a Teacher Training component, if you wish to do a more extensive project that is split between A6 and your classroom. A6 will provide one-on-one or small group instruction on the printmaking and book arts techniques required in your upcoming Tumbleweed Press project. This professional development is covered in the project cost.

4. Get started in class
Tumbleweed Press projects typically start in the classroom. Your teacher training enables you to guide students through the initial steps of your project, whether it is carving a linoleum plate, gathering items to sketch or collage, or creating photo images.

5. Visit A6 for printing
Bring your class to A6 for the printing portion of your Tumbleweed Press project. A6’s professional studio includes several etching presses, letterpress equipment, and plenty of workspace. A6 Artist Members assist students with good studio practices, proper use of the presses, and creative techniques.

6. Finish up in class
Students typically complete their project back in class. Tearing down prints, assembling portfolios, and binding books can all be accomplished in the classroom.

6. Showcase your work
A6 welcomes classes to come back and proudly showcase their Tumbleweed Press project in the A6 gallery for a show-and-tell with parents and the community.

Tumbleweed Projects for Middle & High School Classes

Botany Book

Connects with Sciences

Students collect and print images of plant specimens using monoprinting. Students print a small edition and exchange prints, then present the collection in a hand-bound accordion or pamphlet-style book. Students may use the book to document plant species, note plant traits, or identify plant structure and function.

Teacher Training: Monoprint; Accordion or Pamphlet Book Binding

$395 for 25 students ($10/each additional student)

Compare and Contrast Book

Connects with Language Arts, Social Sciences

Students utilize a structural book form to compare and contrast subject matter (i.e., fictional v.s. historical characters, early civilizations, distant cultures, forms of government). Students work in monoprint and chine collé to illustrate and embellish their book’s content. Students hand bind the work into an accordion-style book.

Teacher Training: Monoprint and Chine Collé; Accordion Book Binding

$395 for 25 students ($10/each additional student)

Printed Diagram or Map

Connects with Sciences, Social Sciences

Students work individually or in small groups to construct a collagraph plate detailing a scientific process or concept. At A6, students learn how to selectively ink their plate in multiple colors and then print their image using the etching press. After printing, students collage labels onto their print to communicate information.

Teacher Training: Collagraph Printing

$395 for 25 students ($10/each additional student)

Personal Story Book

Connects with Language Arts

Students undertake an extended creative writing project and then create a linocut for the cover illustration. Students hand bind the work into a pamphlet.

Teacher Training: Monoprint; Pamphlet Binding

$520 for 25 students ($15/each additional student)

Class Collection Book

Connects with Language Arts

Each student contributes a poem, quote, or short excerpt (pulled from sources or self-authored). Students learn how to compose their name in antique type for the collophon page, and gain experience using the letterpress to print the title page and book cover. Students will hand bind their personal copy as a pamphlet.

Teacher Training: Letterpress; Pamphlet Binding

$395 for 25 students ($10/each additional student)

Historic Broadside

Connects with Social Sciences

Students examine historical events and attitudes by creating broadsides (single-sided sheets combining text and imagery). Students create broadsides with image transfers and incorporate text with chine collé.

Teacher Training: Image Transfer; Chine Collé

$395 for 25 students ($10/each additional student)