This was my March project for ‘Try Something New Every Month’; you can see my other past projects and read more about TSNEM here. You can also see more in a fun round-up of gelatin printing inspiration and ideas here!
I had never heard of gelatin printing until Abby tweeted about it and I was intrigued. I really like seeing other people experiment with printmaking and I am brainstorming more printmaking experiments! I think gelatin printing is especially fun because it has a pretty low cost to try; I used my fancy brayer but all you really need is two boxes of gelatin (I used Knox brand).
I used this tutorial from The Sketchbook Challenge to make my gelatin plate. Apparently my fridge has a crooked shelf, because while I know the Pyrex dish I used is flat, the gelatin came out totally uneven. I had a few paper hexies sitting in front of me that Rebecca had just mailed me, so I thought I’d try those out first.
Attempt #1 was a total failure. I used printer paper, and clearly wayyyy too much paint. The hexagons were completely soaked or smooshed and at this point, I wondered why I’d tried this.
Attempt #2 went much better – I smeared the paint over the empty spots left by a few of the hexagons and tried pushing a few empty thread spools into the paint. I was using cheap white muslin so the paint leaked through, but it dried quickly.
For attempt #3 I washed the plate off – and in the process accidentally tore off the thinner side. No worries, it still worked well! I put paint off to the side and stamped directly on to the plate, which gave more distinct shapes on the fabric.
Attempt #4 was another mixture of too much paint and printer paper. I am thinking a thicker art paper would do better for this, in retrospect, and the hand-carved stamp I used was too shallow to leave a great imprint (I carved it for fabric stamping in this post way back when).
So! Those were my 4 first attempts. I washed off the gelatin plate and stuck in a Ziploc, we will see how long it lasts in my fridge. I let my 2 year old shred and play with the pieces that had broken off, so it was a win win.
I think this would be really fun to do with older kids after a nature walk, using found objects and making stationary. It’s hard to explain why exactly it’s different than just stamping, so I suggest you just try it! I’m really glad I did and will have it rolling around in the back of my creative toolbox. I’m not sure what or if I’ll use the fabric I printed for – so let me know if you have a brilliant idea for that and/or if you plan to try gelatin printing!
See what other bloggers tried for TSNEM this month:
- Melissa at Rebel and Malice tried paper piecing
- Kristy at Simply This Life tried calligraphy
- Rebecca at Hugs Are Fun tried baking macaroons