Monday, March 06, 2006

Gelatin printing with thickened dye

Trying to use up the dye stock and some thickener that's been in the back of the refrigerator for many months, I thought I would try some gelatin plate printing. I've mixed the gelatin before, using the Knox gelatin you get at the grocery store, but this time I wanted to use some bulk gelatin I've had for a while. The recipe on the carton is, of course, for consumption (which makes me gag, sorry). To use for making a gelatin plate, it needs to be much more concentrated. My first try was unsuccessful. After a e-consult with Rayna, I doubled the concentration, and it firmed up very nicely. Except I couldn't get it out of the pan in one piece. Scooped it back into a container and put it in the microwave, melted it, and put it back in the pan. Second try, I used hotter water to loosen the edges and out it came. There was a little bit of liquid gel, the water was a little too hot. Just softened the edges a little bit.

I had a piece of fabric that had been pre-soaked in soda ash and dried. Mixed up the dye, thickened it, spread it on the plate and then pressed various objects in to make impressions. Put the fabric on and rubbed to transfer the dye.
This is the entire piece, about 30" wide by 36" long. I really like it. But the results are quite different from doing the same process with paint. The thickened dye doesn't hold the impression as well as paint, and so the images are less distinct and there isn't near the same amount of detail.
Closer up, you can see the detail better, but it's difficult to identify some of the objects I used, whereas with paint, it would be totally obvious. Here, it's making texture. This will make a good background for further experimentation.

4 comments:

Gerrie said...

Definitely a wonderful background for more surface design.

mary m. said...

Gorgeous warm color and ghostly textures. I like the gelatin printing better than the batiking, but just haven't spent enough time experimenting. It's so tough to do everything. That fabric turned out great!

Rayna said...

Nice, Cathy. I had tried it with thickened dye eons ago but wasn't too happy with the results. Seeing this makes me want to try it again.

Sarah Ann Smith said...

Cool...I actually really like the less distinct results....that you can't tell "how she did that".... makes me want to go play!

Cheers, Sarah