Cynthia St. Charles Store

Monday, October 8, 2007

Gelatin Plate Printing at the Fall Retreat


The grand finale of the Montana Art Quilt Retreat was Gelatin Plate Printing. This is technique that was used to create homemade posters, etc. back before mechanical photocopying was invented. It is now used by artists to create mono prints.

Above, you can see that the gelatin was poured into a foil pan, forming a layer about 1/4 inch thick. After the gelatin set up (takes about an hour), the sides of the pan were folded back to form a clean edge and a smooth surface for the application of the paint, followed by the print material. In our case, we used mostly plant material, as it was readily available.

Here is Darleen, looking over some of her gelatin prints. Behind her, you can see some of her pieces from the three day workshop.

Emilie and Phyllis admiring some of Emilie's prints.

Emilie worked in series, enjoying the unique textures created as the gelatin began to degrade and fall apart.

The first step is applying the paint to the gelatin surface, as you can see Phyllis doing in the picture above. Next, a resist is created as you place something over the painted surface of the gelatin. In this case, Phyllis was using a bunch of flax stems.
The fabric is carefully placed over the prepared gelatin plate. Gentle, but firm pressure is applied to ensure good transfer of the image.

Phyllis shows off the first print from this series. You can see some of her other prints spread out in front of her, as well. Behind her on the wall, are her pieces from the three day workshop. She commented that she had never taken a more productive workshop with so many samples to take home.

The second print (usually my favorite of the series), after the first layer of paint and the print material is removed, will reveal the delicate impression left by the plant matter.

Emilie's series using the same bunch of flowers and similar colors.
We used Pebeo Setacolor Transparent Paints and Jacquard Lumiere Paints for all our gelatin prints in this workshop.

4 comments:

sion said...

looks like a great workshop. Love the gelatin prints, can't wait to do some of that (why haven't I yet? Er. Good question. I even went out & bought gelatin special-like ...).

Mandi aka Fabric Princess said...

that looks like it was a fun weekend! I've had bad luck with gelatin prints. I can never get it to set right. I must be using the wrong recipe, it comes out too hard. And then there was the time I found a cat standing on it....

Plain Jane said...

great workshop indeed, and those gelatin prints are very interesting! What I want to know, is why wasn't anyone wearing aprons or grubby clothes? What poised well-dressed students you have!
Thanks for sharing all your techniques.

Bridget said...

WOW!! I love the work you did with the "Gelatin printing". Do you have a tutorial or know of a website that teaches someone how to do that type of printing. I think my daughter would be interested in trying it, she 11. But she knew she was going to be an artist at the age of 3. here is my address BHaig3553@cfl.rr.com. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks again for you site and all your artwork sharing. Bridget