Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Gelatin Printmaking-a little tutorial and fresh jellies

Here’s a close-up of one of my latest gelatin prints. I’m using foam-plates with doodles pressed onto an ink plate to get these designs. To tone the contrast down (I’m planning to over-print with my Year of the Snake linocut) I rolled white ink onto the foam plate, rolled a rubber roller over that, so that I could pick up a textured white ink, and then rolled the white over my print. Something you need to see in person, I guess.
Here’s the beginning. A recipe. The hand-written recipe is my latest concoction. Mostly I guess, and guess again, but now I think I need to keep track. This recipe made 10x13 inch plate, 1/2 deep. I could have used more. I don’t know who to credit regarding the addition of vinegar, but it makes the plate last MUCH longer. Now that I use vinegar, I actually miss the mould. Mouldy disintegrating plates are the most fun, but sometimes I want to know that if I put the plate away for a few weeks, I can use it whenever I’m ready again.
I learned the hard way to use an over-sized (spaghetti) pot. I’ve had more boil-overs than I care to admit, as once it gets roiling, it doesn’t stop.  The spaghetti pot will hold a boil-over. However, you must watch your gelatin 100% of the time, and stir slowly, so that it won’t stick or burn or turn into a giant rolling foam monster exploding in your kitchen.
The result should look yellow. That means your gelatin is thick and rubbery, a perfect and durable surface to print on. I don’t worry too much about bubbles. If they don’t pop themselves, I skim a little with paper towel. Mostly though, I just shew them into the corner where they won’t bother me (kind of like sweeping dust bunnies under the bed)
After 12 or more hours, it’s ready for ink. I’m using a cookie sheet so I just have to separate the edge with a knife and gently lift the plate from the sheet, and lay it out on sheet of glass. The cookie sheet becomes a protective lid when I put it away in the refridgerator.
Here’s a fresh bunch of jellies. They are low contrast, as I want to print my Year of the Snake linocut. The detail will be there for those who step in for a closer look.
Yep, I was finger-painting on this one. Wow, that felt good, talk about a ‘hands-on’ experience! The nice thing about finger-painting on gelatin, is that you can just keep moving the colours around until you’re happy.


Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

oh thank you for the tut :D

susi said...

Hi and thanks for sharing.I feel motivated and inspired! Wondering what kind of ink is the best to put on the jelly? I have a non-toxic one called Akua and to apply needs an extender, but this is when you use a plexi-glass plate. Wondering how the jelly is going to behave...I will experiment and let you know shortly. x

kaslkaos said...

Thanks susi for the compliments. I only use speedball waterbased as it suits my budget. I find getting saturated colours a struggle at times, and really would love to invest in a second set of inks. I've heard of Akua; so if you try it, please please let me know how it goes. If you post them somewhere, send a link (I won't consider it spam-just make sure you describe your link)


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