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
Kiddies 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...