Cutting the Gelatin

Last week I made some headway with these prints:


This one (above) was overprinted with white to emphasize the contrast between the figure and the background.



I’m a little frustrated here with the stencil, but I still like how it came out.



Not, perhaps, a total success, but I love the edges on the gelatin prints.  The figure needs more… more something.  More visual interest.

But then I tried this technique from Nancy Marculewicz’s out of print book on gelatin printing, which involves cutting into the gelatin.  Here’s something you can’t do with a Gelli plate.  Well you could, but it’s cost prohibitive.  With this technique, it’s often the ghost or cognate print that comes out best.


This one is my favorite.  The letters printed upside down don’t read so letter-y.  The stars and moon pattern is from a cardboard plate from the Provincetown workshop.  I probably should have reworked the bottom before printing, but I love the detail in the figure.  That’s what I’ve been trying for all this time.  How did I do it?  I need to take more notes while I’m making these because I forget.  Let’s see.  Oh yes, I made a stencil and carefully saved all of the pieces.  Unfortunately it was on this horrible curling when wet translucent paper I bought this Summer, so I had to throw it out after one use.  But I was able to ink the plate and block the area outside the figure, than press the pattern onto the inked figure that was cut into the gelatin.  You see?  Maybe not.  I can really see the point of making videos of these processes.


In this one you can see the lines that are formed by the gap between the cut-out gelatin shapes.


Now this one, you see those black lines?  Trying to get those fine black lines with a gelatin print is not all that easy.  I’ve been reading about a method of offset printing with an acrylic plate, but haven’t had that much luck with my Provincetown plates and I don’t have any more acrylic plates.  This figure is the ghost (or second print) from the gelatin plate.  The hand and foot area is fuzzy because it’s tricky cutting fine detail in jello with a regular exacto blade.  I need something akin to a pumpkin carving blade.  Come to think about it, perhaps I can find them for cheap at Target or CVS!  I’d be willing to bet those cheap knife sets work a whole lot better with gelatin than they do with pumpkins.  I’m also thinking of buying some plates, either acrylic or they have these foam plates.  Or perhaps I’ll try my hand at cutting linoleum plates.

The possibilities are truly endless.  It’s funny.  My daughter said: no offense Mom, but all you do is yoga poses?  Well, that’s okay daughter.  Stubborn-ness is my worst vice and my greatest asset.

2 thoughts on “Cutting the Gelatin”

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