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Gelatine printing

Instructions for Gelatine Printing

  • 400 ml Glycerine
  • 100 g Gelatine
  • 400 ml boiling water
  • Dissolve the gelatine in the glycerine then stir in the boiling water and pour into a suitable container and leave until set. Try to avoid bubbles but if they appear skim the surface with a sheet of paper. Once set tip out and store between two sheets of plastic. This will keep without refrigeration for several months and can be remelted in the microwave by heating for 1 minute on high if needed. Can be made in different shapes depending on what container it is set in.

    Taking a Print

    Dab a few spots of acrylic paint (The cheaper the better) either onto a piece of plastic sheet or directly onto the gelatine and roll out with a brayer. If your paint is thick mix on the plastic sheet with a little flow medium then roll onto the gelatine plate. You only need a thin layer of paint. Place stencils or flat objects onto the plate and take a piece of paper (greaseproof paper is good but other papers work well too) gently work the paper into the gelatine to pick up most of the exposed paint. Lift the paper off and set aside to dry, this is your negative image. You may wish to put another clean sheet of greaseproof paper on to pick up any remaining paint then carefully lift off the stencils and objects and place a fresh piece of paper down and press in with your fingers or use a clean brayer on the back of the paper to pick up the paint that is left on the plate. This is your positive image. You can clean the plate with hand sanitiser then use a contrasting colour and repeat the process with either the same or similar objects and overprint your first positive image with the second negative image and your first negative image with your second positive image. You may of course prefer to keep the positive and negative images as is.

    Some ideas for suitable objects for gelatine printing:-

  • Leaves especially fern and leaves with plenty of veins and/or a distinctive shape.
  • Lace doilies
  • Wool, string or knitting cotton
  • Magazine pictures with a sheet of contact cut out with a scalpel
  • Stencils of various types
  • Flat plastic shapes

    Be warned once you start you won't want to stop, have fun.


    © 2021 Gail Stiffe