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Gelatin printing

I had so much fun this morning!!!  Today was our monthly meeting of Pandoras. We met at Alisan’s house today; she was responsible for choosing our activity and she chose gelatin printing.  Good choice, Alisan!

Michele Sheets on the left and Alisan Royster on the right. On the counter, you see several trays – those are our gelatin plates. Alisan made one for each of us yesterday so we could get right to playing this morning.

The gelatin plate needs to be out of the pan and is fairly fragile. I used a blunt knife to separate the plate from the edges of the pan.

Then I gently lifted the gelatin plate off the aluminum pan. I ended up cutting the plate in half because it started tearing from the weight of being lifted.

Most everyone did the same – cut the gelatin plate in half. I found it to be better this way as it gave me two plates to play with and I could make smaller prints. Grace told us she saw someone cut the gelatin plates into 4 x 6 pieces and used them to print ATC’s! (artist trading cards)

Here’s where the real fun starts.  We used Lumiere, Golden, Acrylics, So Soft, and Jacquard paints today. You can also use dyes and I’m wondering about using inks and it even crossed my mind if you could use alcohol inks and print metal….. hmmmm…. I see another day of playing in my future!  I digress. Above you see the gelatin plate with red paint on it (we used brayers to smooth the paint in a fairly light coat. Then, you can use all sorts of objects as resist (tree branches, grasses, twigs, paper, string, rubber bands….)

Next you lay the paper or fabric on top of the painted gelatin plate and gently pat or rub.

When you lift the paper or fabric off the plate, it’s always a surprise what you’re going to find. Grace is pleased with her print.

You can repeat the process several times on the same piece of fabric layering the effects. Michele is pleased with this one!

A gelatin plate with blue paint on it. You can see Susan has put some string and a twig on it for resist.

Alisan putting paint on her gelatin plate with a brayer.

You can see some of what we were playing with: twigs, leaves, brayer…

As we worked on the gelatin plates, they “de-constructed” from pressure, loss of moisture, and warmth.  The cracking gave us great textures on our finished prints. serendipitous became the word of the day as we played.

Here you can see some cracking and places where the gelatin plate has lifted and left rough areas. Grace had printed a clip art bird on her printer and loved the way the ink from the printer left an image on the gelatin plate.

I’ll leave you with some pictures of the prints I made today:

We left today challenging each other to do something with these beautiful pieces.

I’ve recently been asked about the recipe for making the gelatin plates. Alisan made them following the directions in  Rayna Gillman’s excellent book Create Your Own Handprinted Cloth


About delanequilts

Full time wife, mother, grandmother; friend to many; crazy aunt to a few. Avid lover of reading; 'making something from nothing'; karate! (Tang Soo!); nature and gardening though trying to cut back on time spent pulling weeds! Lover of essential oils!

2 responses »

  1. Pingback: RedBarn Studios » pandoras+playtime = F U N

  2. Michele Barnes

    Can you please tell me what recipe you followed to make the plates.
    I need to make 9 or 10.
    Thanks so much. The prints look great!


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