Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Re-Post for Buried Treasure Collaborative - Making a Gelatin Plate

As part of a collaborative with New York Artist Seth Apter' and his blog The Altered Page, I am re-posting 'Making a Gelatin Plate'.  The idea is to air a previous post that you particularly liked. The participating artists can be found from July 15th over at The Altered Page blog under the title Buried Treasure.  A celebration of the work of  the many, many online artists we love to browse.

I think it's probably one of the most useful posts I made over the year for other artists and probably the one which sparked the most interest on my blog.  It was also a good point for my work, as it began to travel down many mixed media avenues and on all kinds of artistic journeys that I could not have imagined; say 2 years ago.

A week on holiday got me thinking about gelatin prints again. I really got into this last year and posted about it at the time but felt that there was more work to be done here and that I could also use the prints with my stock of digital images. There was very little information online at the time; there is a little bit more now I notice, but it was enough to get me started.

The drawback was the time it took to make the plates and the fact that the gel broke up quite quickly - you would just get to the point where you were making progress and it was getting interesting and the cracks would appear.

So for those interested in this here is the latest recipe for the gel plate shown above.

Makes a plate about 8x10 inches and 1/2 inch deep

1 Pack Dr
Oetker Gelatin (contains 6 sachets)
1 pint water at room temperature

plasticine or clay
Plexi-glass sheet or reinforced glass (not picture frame glass, far too fragile)

Newspaper torn into strips

Put water in pan and slowly add all 6 sachets one by one and stirring slowly with wooden spoon.  I mean slowly! When you have added all the gelatin powder heat slowly and stir constantly to dissolve the gelatin and then leave to cool down a little.

Whilst that is cooling make a dam with the
plasticine or clay on your plexi-glass. I previously used a tin tray but this is much better and you can make any size and shape you want. Just make sure it is pressed down onto the support and there are no areas that will leak.

Pour the gelatin slowly into the mould you have created and skim the surface with strips of newspaper to get rid of any scum and bubbles on the surface.

Leave for about an hour and a half in a cool place to set. ( I left it in the studio - it really does not need a fridge) Until it feels firm to touch.

Use sharp knife to cut right down onto the plexi-glass or glass and carefully remove the plasticine dam.

(This beats the previous recipe where you had do all kinds of stuff and then leave it in the fridge for 12 hours)

And the plate is ready to use...


MrCachet said...

Yes, but - what do you do with it? I must be artistically challenged, as I'm unsure what you do with it after it sets.

bohemianshadows said...

hi, over from seth's place.

this is fascinating, and like MrCachet would love to know how you actually use it. i scrolled down some other posts and see that you make prints. i especially loved the 22nd May one. is that original or after digital manipulation?

do you have a post or links to how to do this technique. i've tried monoprinting and am not that impressed yet.


This Artist's Place said...

I have reposted the follow-up about how to use the plate - so sorry to have caused confusion.

The 22nd May print was made using strands of fake hair (you can buy it here in strips) and tiny circles of paper laid on the inked up gelatin plate.

The little images were good but I decided to digitally manipulate to see how far I could push the image and I did like the result.

Hope this helps


dryadart said...

I like the no refrigeration recipe, I could use this with my classes, thanks for the tip :)

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

What a super post. I had the same problem with my gelatin monoprinting that you described. Only mine broke before I ever got it out of the pan. I was so disheartened, but tried to embrace the cracks that the break caused. It was much easier the second time I used it, because I skimmed the excess paint off the top and reheated. This time I made sure I removed it correctly. You way looks so much easier, and I wouldn't have to remove it from the pan, either. Love this idea.

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

This sounds easy and I like easy! I havn't printed using gelatin before but I'm bookmarking this page for when I do. Thanks!

Jo Archer said...

Love the look of your gelatin prints. I'm all inspired now. Thanks for re-posting this.

Jill Zaheer said...

what a unique and creative idea. Thanks for this wonderful repost!!

*jean* said...

i have never tried this but you've made it sound like i could! thank you and i'm visiting from seth's place too!! nice to meet you!

This Artist's Place said...

Thanx to everyone who has visited from Seth's site - your kind and helpful comments are a real encouragement to carry on working and carry on blogging too.

MrCachet & bohemianshadows - hope I have cleared the confusion with follow-up post.

Dryadart - yes it's good for classes - water-based, enviro-friendly, quick results and easy to clean.

Bluebeard and Elizabeth - I can have a plate hanging around the studio for a couple of weeks - it does go mouldy and thin after a while:(

Bohemianshadows, Lucky Dip LIsa, Jo, Jill & Jean - just great to hear from you.

But mainly, thanks to eveyone who has taken the time and trouble to visit and comment.


Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

Sounds easy but i would have appreciated more pictures! I'm a visual person and have to read instructions several times before i get it! Patsy from