Wednesday, August 19, 2009

We 3 Art Day: Gelatin Monoprinting

Yesterday was another We 3 Art Play Day and this time it was playing with gelatin monoprints. I was so glad Kathy suggested it, because I had just been reading about it and thought it looked interesting.

Each of us made gelatin blocks and mine seems to be a bit lopsided. However, I was game for anything and was all packed and ready to go before Dana picked me up.

Another view of everything I packed included material, cookie cutters, fabric paint, dye inks, craft sheet, a book of sheet music, and various leaves from my yard. Although I thought I had more than half my craft room packed in that carrier, I later learned I hadn't brought nearly enough stuff to work with!

On the way there, Dana nearly ran out of gas, so we stopped in a small town (tiny, in fact), where the only gas was at the Co-op.

With really eclectic views, this place provided fodder for Silent Sunday.

Dana seemed to think so, too.

After two detours, we finally made it to Kathy's where Dana is starting to unpack. She brought about half her craft room, too!

It won't be long and we'll be monoprinting. I was pretty excited about it.
Here we were bringing our things in. By the time we got settled in, Dana worked where my metal pan is, Kathy worked where my ugly mug is, and I was back by the fan. Both Kathy and Dana sat to work, but I stood because the table was too tall for me to sit and get any leverage.

Before I could even get started, Dana had her gelatin block on a plate (I put mine on a craft sheet) and had inked it up along with a bird stencil. Next she removed the stencil as shown in the photo.

She has a nice clean print ready to go.

She gently laid down some dark cloth over the gel block,

then pressed

and pressed some more, then smoothed until she felt she had good coverage over the entire piece.

She gently lifted the fabric.

Wow, this is beautiful.

Not sure I got a good photo of the finished piece due to the sun shining into Kathy's lovely craft room, I took a photo of it from another direction. It was beautiful! Now it was time for me to get started.

Nothing I made came close to what Dana or Kathy made, even though I used Dana's bird stamp most of the day (much to her chagrin).

These were my final pieces. Some I printed on fabric, others on paper. By this time my gel block was falling apart and I was too tired to cut it like Dana finally did hers.

After I picked up all my pieces from her garage, I went back in and saw they were looking at images for our AB Round Robin. You can see Kathy's gel blocks are both round because she planned to make something similar to the quilt rounds that are featured in (and on the cover of) the new Quilting Arts Magazine.

Lessons I learned for this technique:
1. Fabric paint and texture paint are not the same.
2. "Stitch paint," with the tiny hole applicators (popular for painting on T-shirts in the 80s) does not work when you need a lot of paint for your brayer.
3. Have all your materials and paints ready to go before you add paint to the gelatin, so the paint doesn't dry on your gel block.
4. Clean your gel block as soon as you print and before you add more paint.
5. Unless you have the right inks, don't try printing on dark material.
6. I'm not only brayer challenged, I have a sucky brayer.

The good news is, although my gel block fell apart, I brought it home, reheated it in the microwave, and plan to do more monoprinting tomorrow (Thursday), now that I have the supplies around me that I now know I need. Although the gel print turned pink due to the paint that I left on it, it won't hurt anything.

Today I will:
1. Put everything away that I took to Kathy's.
2. Check all that fabric paint I have from the 80s and pitch any that is no longer any good.
3. Get material and book pages ready for printing.
4. Go through my stencils, stamps, and other supplies for images to print.
5. Make at least one spread in my Hand AB so I'll have something to show tomorrow.

As an aside, Dana picked the theme "Circles" for her RR AB, Kathy picked "Eyes and Faces", and I picked "Rocking Horses" and asked the gals to do at least one month in my 7 Continents AB, which I drilled holes in on Kathy's husband's drill press yesterday.

Have a great day everyone. Looks like I have a very busy day ahead of me!

2 thoughtful remarks:

rikae said...

Hi Elizabeth,
this project looks interesting and I thank you for the info you gave,However since I am still a newbie I need to know :
1) what kind of gelatine you used, how much to make a block?
2) what kind of inks? pleas give me the names.
at the moment I only have alcohol inks
3) where can I buy inks at a reasonable price? are the same inked that can be used for re-inking a pad? so far I haven't been able to find them in the local craft stores.
4) about using Lumiere fabric paints?
thank you and be well.
rita kaehler

~*~Magpie's Nest said...

really cool!