Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Gelatin Leaf Printing

negative print
positive print

(Here is the link to the original project)

Gelatin printing with leaves is a simple, pretty much no-fail introduction to the world of printmaking. I made a simple slideshow to accompany this project - you can access here - and here are the nuts and bolts of this project:

materials needed:
gelatin, water, cookie sheet
water-soluable block printing ink
paper (any kind works)
brayer, styrofoam plate or tray, plastic utensil for getting the paint (which is super thick) out of the paint container
leaves (or anything thin you want to make impressions of)

You'll prepare gelatin in a cookie sheet for your printing surface, which needs to be done at least 12 hours before your class. It's quick! To make 1 tray of gelatin, boil 4 cups of water, and stir in 12 packets of knox gelatin (at Safeway this is right by the jell-o, on the bottom shelf). Mix it together so that it dissolves (it's ok if you have some clumps - you can fish them out with a spoon when you pour mixture into your tray). Pour into a tray and let it harden overnight (doesn't need to be in a refrigerator). Once you've made this, it should last for about a day.

The project:

Using the brayer, roll a very thin layer of ink (use water-soluable block printing ink) on your gelatin tray.  (It's hard to see above because my cookie sheet is black, but there is a little bit of ink rolled on)

Then place the leaves/petals/whatever on the tray.

Place a piece of paper over your leaves, and gently rub all over the paper.

Pull your paper gently off. Voila! This is a negative print (meaning, the ink is on the background, which is your negative space). (See the picture with the black background at the very top of this post, on the left)

Now, you can make a positive print. Gently pull off your leaves/petals/whatever, and place a new piece of paper on the exact spot where your old piece of paperone was. (You'll see that there is no ink on the parts where it printed on your first). Gently rub, pull off - and you'll see the ink on the subject of your print - which is the positive space of your image.

Variations on this project are endless and addicting! Have fun and send Lynne pictures.

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