A few weeks ago we had another "TED" (Technique Exploration Day). Anne skipped out on us so Estelle and I were alone to do some gelatin printing.
Let's start with the good stuff. We used the instructions in this book. I probably have almost every surface design book written but, hand down, this is my favorite. It's well written, well organized with clear instructions and lots of great photos.Of course, there is a whole chapter on gelatin printing.
I didn't get any in-process photos of our day. It's certainly easy enough to create the gelatin plate. I was able to even create one giant one in a shallow cookie sheet (or whatever that pan is called). It only took a few hours for the gelatin to set up although I let it set overnight just to be sure.
It's a simple process. You spread paint or thickened dye on the gelatin plate, place a mask on the surface and then print the fabric. You can then remove the mask and print the surface again and you can use the mask as a stamp for a 3rd image. Of course there are lots of variations from there. As the gelatin plate is used it also develops interesting texture on its own.
If you want to see some cool work with gelatin printing, check out these slide shows from LuAnn Kessi.
I have to be honest, neither Estelle or I were enamoured with this technique. It's OK but we both found ourselves thinking that there are other ways to accomplish the same effect.
With gelatin printing you are limited to the size of plate that you make. With other techniques, like straight stamping or painting, you can work on any size surface you wish. These are some of the samples that I made using thickened dye. I knew I was in trouble with this technique when I lamented over "ruining" my "good scrap fabrics"!
I even tried it with some fabric paints. The technique worked like it should, I think, but it's just not the kind of print that I would work with. I think I am better with overall textures or very defined images like you get with screen printing, stamping and batik.
I'm glad we tried it and I certainly see the appeal for some artists, but don't expect to see any more gelatin printing in my future!
This month will be a diffrerent story. I expect that we are going to have a blast with resist techniques.