Magazine article Arts & Activities

That's Warped! Making Art with the Copier

Magazine article Arts & Activities

That's Warped! Making Art with the Copier

Article excerpt

Copiers can be a great source for experimentation in printmaking. Photocopier art (xerography) is quite low cost, too. Or you can use a digital image scanner as an instant camera, imaging objects and people by posing them on the glass platen. That's called "scanography." Either way, you can use a flatbed as a pleasurable printmaking device. There are several worthwhile ways to go.


Amusing portraits can be made on a photocopier or scanner. Students won't be comfortable holding a pose for very long, so have another student serve as an assistant.

When the posing student is ready, the assistant places a dark cloth over the poser's head, covering the copier glass. About three seconds before the assistant pushes the copier button, the poser takes a deep breath and holds it until the scanner completes its pass (breath could condense on the scanner, leaving a shadowy spot on the picture). For safety, students absolutely must keep their eyes closed during the entire scan.

Some students may choose to place objects on the scanner bed as well: jewelry or other small items. Long hair can be arranged around the face, as well. Then the subject of the photocopy gets to gussy up the portrait, colorizing it with chalk pastels, colored pencils or markers.

AND ... ACTION! The following activities can be challenging, even for high-school students. Stretching an image generates exciting distortion or blur, but it requires the subject to move while the copier scans. (Shy students might decline to create deformed images of themselves, and who could blame them? …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.