Sunday, April 7, 2013

Gelli and gelatin printing, Second Saturday Art club

For this month's art club, we decided to do gelatin and Gelli plate printing. It's easy, it's fun, it's fast!

Some of us had Gelli plates, which are great, since you can just make prints whenever the mood strikes. These are rubbery reusable plates for monoprinting. This link is for the Gelli arts website where these can be purchased, I haven't seen them available at any craft stores. Their website also has a basic video on doing monochromatic prints, and I am sure there are videos on YouTube as well.

I have the 8" x 10" Gelli plate. For everyone else, I made gelatin for them to print on. The plate needs to be roughly 3/4" to 1" thick, so I measured how much water would fit in the pans I was using to make the gelatin.  The pans differed in size, some took 4 cups of water, some took 6 cups.  If I was making gelatin and using the pan that took 4 cups of water, this is the process I used.  I poured 2 cups of water in the pan and stirred in 8 packets of Knox unflavored gelatin (each packet is roughly 1 tablespoon of gelatin). I stir this to get the lumps out. I would heat the other two cups of water to a boil, then add it to the pan, and stir gently until all the gelatin is dissolved. I let this rest about five minutes, then use scrap paper to drag across the top surface to remove any bubbles.  The pan rests at room temperature about thirty minutes, then I put it in the frig overnight.  I pulled the pan out of the frig thirty minutes before I planned to use it. To remove it from the pan, I poured about an inch of boiling water into a larger empty pan, then set the pan with gelatin in this water. I run a regular kitchen knife around the edges. The boiling water will melt some of the gelatin and it will just plop out of the pan when you flip it onto a water proof surface (we used freezer paper).

Gelatin formula: X cups of water x 2 = number of gelatin packets needed. Mix half of the water (cold) with the gelatin, then add the other half of the water (boiling) and stir gently. Rest 30 minutes, then refrigerate overnight.

Sabyl brayering her Gelli plate. Typically we would brayer the entire plate with colors, then use rubber stamps, stencils, found objects to stamp into the color. If the item was pressed into the surface without paint on the item, it would remove the color from the plate. If the item was painted first, it would add that colored pattern to the plate.

Liz at her workstation with Gayla and Laurie in the back.

 We let our prints dry on plastic and newsprint in the adjacent hall, so I don't know which belong to who.

This is Simone's, she printed onto a 11x17 black and white photocopy. I love it!

 These are Laurie's.

I did some on paper (mainly maps).

And on fabric.
 This one is my favorite.

Gelatin printing is super fun. I did about 12 prints on fabric, and 17 on paper in roughly 3 to 4 hours. Many of these I did more than one layer of print. I would print it, let it dry, then print another layer (and some had three layers).  It is a great time!


  1. Looks like this was lots of fun. Went to the Gelli site and then to the blogspot. Trying to figure out how I can make my own decorator paper for backgrounds with stamping. Are the prints on Cardstock or another medium. Is this a special kind of paint. I need to watch some more You Tube videos. Liked the rubber stamp mask with the hand. What are you going to do with the fabric?

  2. I just used regular acrylic paint, although I like using slow drying ones better, like Open acrylic by Golden. I am going to do some embroidery and beading on the fabric. We used printmaking paper but you could easily do this on cardstock.