I’ve been wanting to try this technique since I saw it on Quilting Arts TV last summer. I knew we’d be snowed in today so I got all of my stuff together yesterday so I could start playing this morning.
We first need to make the gelatin plate.
Here it what you need to make this plate:
- pan to use as mold for the gelatin
- 4 packages of unflavored gelatin
- plastic wrap
- 1 cup of hot water
- 1 cup of cold water
- spoon or stir
- bowl to mix gelatin and water
Other things you will need:
- paper or fabric (washed) cut to size
- stamps, string, packing bubbles – anything for texture
- gloves (optional)
- paper towels or cloth to wipe hands and paint jars
- brayer or paint brush to spread paint
- covered work surface and area for finished prints to dry
Cover the bottom of the mold with plastic wrap leaving wrap hanging over all sides to serve as handles when you get ready to pull the gelatin plate out of the mold. Mix the cold water with the gelatin until it is dissolved. Add the hot water, stir and then pour into the wrap-lined mold.
Put the gelatin pan into the refrigerator until set. It should set up in a couple hours, but I let it set overnight since I wasn’t planning on using it until today.
When ready, remove gelatin “plate” from pan by grabbing plastic wrap.
Move the plate with the plastic wrap to your prepared workspace. I cover my workspace with freezer paper. Also, make sure to have a space to place your finished pieces to dry.
Now it’s time to play. Cover the plate with paints, inks, or dyes. I used Claudine Hellmuth Studio acrylic paints and Jacquard Lumieres, which both act nice on fabric. I purchased some fabric reactive dyes, but didn’t want to deal with them today. You don’t have to use fabric – use paper and any type of ink, paint, and even watercolors.
Now it’s time to get creative. I started by placing a doily and some branches from our Norfolk Pine on the plate. When you have the everything in place like you like, cover it all with the fabric or paper and press down. I used my hands to smooth it out. This is where the gloves come in handy. However, if you don’t mind getting paint on your hands (I don’t), then don’t worry with gloves.
When you pull up your sheet you will have your print. It was nice but boring.
But we’re just getting started. I bought some old wood fabric stamps on ebay many years ago and never had an occasion to use them. So I used one of them to stamp into the plate. Instead of getting the texture from the items you cover the plate with, with this technique you are putting the texture on the plate.
Now I put the fabric over the plate, rubbed and got this. I really love the texture.
Then I placed other things – sequin waste, paper circles, and string. Some of the prints I didn’t like so I kept over printing them. I really liked the impressions the pine branches made and the texture I got from the fabric stamp which I used in many of the backgrounds.
This following one I over printed several times.
Then I thought I’d try black fabric and see what effect I could get.
You will notice that the print is smaller than my piece of cloth. You can make the print plate as large as you want to, but be sure to adjust the gelatin and water. Also, after working with the plate for an hour or so, it may start to crack which I thought added more interest. Cracks can be seen in the above piece.
This was really fun. If you have any interest in this process, I really encourage you to do it. It’s not expensive and is really fun. As I mentioned before, you could make beautiful paper this way too. I know that I’ll be playing with this technique again.
Oooohhh, nice! Great prints. I took a gelatin printing class from Rayna Gillman last year up in Bloomington. I don’t think she ever uses dye paint for this, but only acrylic paints. With dyes, it is a whole different process, other than the printing part. Did you get signed up for my printing class in March with the guild?
I must have been buying those wood blocks at the same time…fascinated with their structure…now I know what I can do with them! Thanks for the inspiration. Now I’m here with Garden Club canceled because of snow…the morning to myself…and no supplies…heavy sigh…
I liked the black and white ones the best. You are so creative. Did you cross post to OS, people will LOVE this.
Stay warm on this blustery day, six degree windchill!
I really found out about how to use them when I interviewed Karen Hampton a while back. She showed me her metal ones that she used on fabric and I told her about my wood ones that were similar. They are neat and I’ll definitely try more with some different colors and paints/dyes. I’m going to a garden conference this month where a woman (probably with their local master gardener group) will be speaking on lavender. I’m thinking about getting rid of my iris holding area and put it in lavender. Also heard there was another lavender even hardier than Grosso. Hey, thanks for stopping by. Go get some gelatin for the next snow day!
On Quilting Today, Pokey just made up the dyes and used like the paints. However, you’ve got to treat the fabric. Is there anything else I need to do? Yes, they are going to save me a seat in the class. It will be so much fun to see you in action!
Never having done this, I was wondering how the gelatin looked after being pressed, especially with those bulky branches? Did the branches embed themselves down into it? Did you have to press really hard to get them to flatten? or curve the paper around it to get coverage? Does the gelatin get misshapen as it is filled with objects?
AA, It should post on OS since my feed goes there. I’m off to do some errands on this cold day. I’m getting cabin fever and if I don’t do it today, tomorrow will be nuts! Thanks for dropping by.
Terry, The gelatin pretty much bounces back. Like when I put the branches down, when I picked them up, the mark was still there but then all I had to do is roll over the paint and it was flat again. On the branches I printed putting paint on top of the branches which are sitting on top of paint on the plate. Now on the stamp, I pressed it into the gelatin plate after covered by paint and then printed. When I spread paint over the plate again the stamp impression was gone. You are not filling the gelatin with objects – just setting them on top or just pushing them in to get an image. The gelatin plate will after an hour or so, start to break up or it did with me. I hope that helps. Thanks for dropping by.
Wow, that looks cool 🙂 I’ve never heard of this technique before, but your images came out beautifully! I especially like the last four a lot!
What a great post! I’ve always been intrigued by this process, and your photos are wonderful!
I’ve read about this technique, have seen the results of it, and have even seen a couple of tutorials about it, but still didn’t quite understand it. You have made it all clear! Thanks so much, I’m definitely going to be trying this!
Wow! Thanks for sharing-I have read about this technique but haven’t tried it. I especially like the idea of overprinting. Thanks so much!
Creative Dreamer, Thank you so much for you comment. I try to make my tuts clear but sometimes it’s hard to do. Would love to see what you make.
Thanks for dropping by and commenting.
Kim, Thanks! It is a really interesting process.
really amazing, you have so much talent!
Monika, Thank you but really if I can do it, anyone can!!
Very cool process. I can’t wait to try. Do you remove paint between colors or just keep adding? afraid it would get muddy. I agree, love the ones in black!
Robin, For the ones I overprinted, I just added more. Try it! You will love the results.
Thank you so much for the recipe and great tutorial. I just saw this process on Quilting Arts this morning, but missed the first few minutes, so wasn’t sure how to begin.
I like your last print the best. Fantastic definition with the pine fronds on black fabric.
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Thank you! Glad you found it here. I just bought one of those Gelli Printing Plate and am anxious to see how it compares to my homemade one. I’ll blog about it when I get around to using it. Love the name of your blog. I’m off to check it out. Lynda
I came across this blog entry searching for good gel printing ideas. I’m wondering if you had a chance to use the Gelli Gel Plate and if you ever blogged about it? I tried to find something but was unsuccessful. Let me know if you did post any pics from your Gelli printing or if you do blog about it… I’d want to post your post on our fb page!
Nancy, I’m behind on my posts and hopefully I’ll be posting soon about the Gelli Gel Plate I bought a while back. Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Lynda
Very cool. Our QB’s group is going to try this Wed of this week. Help. Do the 4 packs of gel go in with the 1 cup cold and 1 cup hot? Makes one plate?
According to my instructions: Mix the cold water with the gelatin until it is dissolved. Add the hot water, stir and then pour into the wrap-lined mold.
This will make one gelatin plate. Enjoy!
I made the gelatin last night and this morning when
I took it out of the fridge, my gelatin was a big glob of slushy goop. Absolutely not way to print from it. It spread all over the table and broke apart immediately. Any suggestions?
Lisa, I’m so sorry to hear that! Did you use 4 packets of gelatin? As with making any gelatin, it should set up and when using the wrap you can lift it right out of the pan. I’ve heard others have problems when they used less than 4. I’m sorry I’m not much help. If you followed my directions it should have set up perfectly. Try it again and let me know how it turns out.