FAQ: Gelatin Monoprint
Recipe = per 1 cup of water 2 tablespoons *Monoprint gelatin, 2 ounces of **Glycerine.
More gelatin will yield a stronger more durable printing block.
Measure the non stick container for how much liquid you need to fill them 3/4 to 1 inch thick with gelatin mix. You’ll need a smooth bottomed container. If your mold holds 6 cups of liquid then you need to make 6 x the recipe above. The requisite for the mold is that it be smooth bottomed and non stick. You’re trying to make as smooth a printing surface as possible.
Put cold water into the bowl or mold and sprinkle the dry granules onto the surface of the water. Let the granules absorb (Swelling) the water. Then add boiling water and to completely dissolve the granules. Gently stir in the Glycerine, stir slowly to avoid bubbles, pour slowly into your container, remove all bubbles on the surface, let gelatin set up on counter, it will set up nicely in a 70° F room, if it is hot and humid then move to refrigerator. After it is firm (few hours in refrigerator) remove from mold.
*TIP TO REMOVE BUBBLES: gently drag newspaper across the surface of bubbly gelatin or gently use a hair dryer / heat gun to pop the bubbles (dragging the newsprint is safer)
When the gelatin is solid cut around the edges and remove the block, un-mold carefully. Allow gelatin block to stand at room temperature to dry out a bit.
Alternatives to the non stick pans and more traditional way to make the printing block is to use a large sheet of glass and make a well from clay. Make a clay rope and press on to the glass sheet. Form a complete frame/well. Pour the warm gelatin into the clay on glass well and when it is solid remove the clay rope. This will create wonderful edges and is easy to handle because there is no unmolding the gelatin.
Roll ink onto a palette with a brayer then roll ink onto gelatin surface. The coating of ink should be slightly transparent over the gelatin. Too much ink will create a blurry /watery print. It takes several passes of rolling the ink out onto the gelatin to condition the fresh gelatin block as you begin. The first time you roll the inks onto the blocks the ink will be watery. Just use plain paper, newprint and remove the ink until you get a nice smooth and evenly inked up block.
Now lightly press/lay objects onto the surface of the inked gelatin. You are only pressing into the ink not the gelatin, so be gentle.
For a positive Image remove objects from the gelatin plate and place paper down onto the plate, paper will pick up the detail of the positive image of your object.
For a Negative Image place objects onto inked gelatin plate. Place paper over the object and gently press all around. Again be gentle. Remove paper and you’ll have a negative or silhouetted image of your object.
Draw with tools or paint brushes into/onto the surface of the ink, use feathers, stencils, rubber stamps, string, leaves, etc.
*MONOPRINT gelatin from: Available in 1 lb to 10 lb boxes.
**Glycerine is available online from soap makers and cake decorating suppliers, it is vegetable based. Small quanitites can be purchased in some beauty supply or pharmacy type stores.
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