Cynthia St. Charles Store

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Vegetation Prints from a Gelatin Plate

To create interesting prints of plants, I always start by brushing paint over the surface of the gelatin plate. In this instance, I used Setacolor Transparent paint in green and Jacquard Lumiere in bright gold.

The plant is then placed onto the painted surface in the desired location. This will make the first print. Lay a sheet of fabric or paper over the paint and plant material. Press gently with your hands - moving them around to make sure all exposed paint is transferred. This first print will look like a stencil print - with the plant creating the stencil.

Next, gently lift the plant material away. You will see an intricate imprint from the plant material has been left behind on the gelatin plate. This is the image used to create the second print. After the plants are removed, lay another piece of fabric over the gelatin plate. Smooth it carefully with your hands until you think all available paint has been transferred from the gelatin to the fabric. Then, lift the fabric away and set it aside to dry.

The second print will be a very detailed print of the plant material.

Lya, I think the gelatin sheets can be reconstituted in water in order to make a plate for printing. I am not sure what the proportions should be, but I think you should try a small amount - maybe on a paper plate or something - use half the water you would normally use for edible gelatin. I think that should work. Let me know how it goes if you try it!

Lisa, I do reuse the modeling clay. The soft gelatin can be washed away or it can be left to dry and then the flakes can be discarded.


Beena said...

Wow! Look at all the detail that comes through onto the fabric from this! I'm impressed.
Thanks so much for sharing this process.

Approachable Art said...

Oh this is a wonderful technique. I've been doing monoprinting on paper for years, never really tried it with fabric, and this reverse printing produces such lovely results! Well done and thanks for the photos.

The Idaho Beauty said...

This process is fascinating. Thanks for your detailed info and shots. I've never understood this kind of printing, why bother with the gelatin, but now I get it!

Wen Redmond said...

The fern or leaf can also be layered face up ( ink side up) on the next (3rd) print or even re-ink the gelatin and than place the leaf down. This process keeps going and going - I love it. The only size limitation is the size of the gelatin. Hmmm Where can I find a huge pan- cookie sheet??