~ The BASICS ~ Briefly ~ Sorta-Kinda briefly .~Step 1: Make the Plate
You will need:
- 2 T. HighBloom Gelatin per cup of water
- measured cups of water - first mix cold, second mix HOT
- Mixing Bowl and stirring spoon
- Pour Tray
Measure the cold water into a large bowl, then sprinkle the gelatin
over the surface. Stir gently to mix thoroughly and let it sit for one
or two minutes to pre-saturate the grains before adding the hot water.
When you mix the hot water in, DO not use a beater! Stir gently with a
large flat spoon to avoid creating froth or bubbles. It will become more
and more clear.
Pour gently into the tray and let it sit until set. Set time depends on room temp if you don't refrigerate it. Allow an hour min. in the fridge.
* Figure the amounts for your tray by filling it with water and measuring the amount. For each cup, you need 2T of gelatin. Our 6"x9"x1"
trays take 6 cups to fill to the brim, so this needs 12 T. gelatin. An 8"
cake pan with 2 c. of water, 4 T of gelatin gives a 1/2" thick plate.
Voice of Experience: The liquid plate may have some froth or bubble on the surface which is easy to remove by
dragging a strip of newspaper lightly across the surface.
NOTE NOTE NOTE: A full tray of liquid is next to impossible to move without spills!!! If you want to refrigerate it for a faster set, place the tray level in the refrigerator first, then pour it full. Or be prepared to peel dried gelatin film flakes from floor and fridge for a week.
If you use a baking pan too small for your paper to fit, you will need
to release the plate from the pan for printing. We think this take quite a lot of practice! Maybe you'll be instantly good at it? heeere's HOW : Run a warm wet thin blade around the edge of the pan and try to
slide it out onto your printing workspace. If the pour plate is
textured on the bottom, you need to flip it again so that the smooth top
surface is up. We place a smooth sheet of plastic over a board, place
the board over the tray, and invert it so that the large smooth surface
is again on top.
We obviously prefer the foam plate pour! Edges can be trimmed if needed to make
the plate higher than the sides. This has the added advantage of providing more support for the plate and makes it easy to wrap and store. To release the plate from this mold, free the edges with a
plastic knife and allow a little water to run under it then gently bend
release the plate, and reverse it as above. ,
Step 2. Ink the plate
You will need:
- Ink or paint
- A brayer
- A clean flat surface for rolling the ink out
- optional - fine mister, newsprint stack
Scoop some printing ink onto your palate (this can be a piece of wax paper taped to a smooth table, a piece of glass, a platter. We recommend our craft sheet - heat proof, glass smooth, easy-clean)
Roll it out evenly with the brayer until you have a nice thin coating on the roller. Brayer the ink onto the gelatin plate gently and evenly.
Voice of Experience: It's helpful to keep a stack of newsprint next to the print area for rolling the brayer clean between colors. A fine mister is also useful if you are using waterbased print inks. Acrylic paint will dry quickly. You may add retarder or spritz it with the mister as needed to keep it open. Our fabric paints are waterbased and do not dry as quickly but the mister will be handy for these too. Oil based inks stay open longer, but require more cleanup work.
Step 3. Pull some Prints!
You will need:
- Objects from your collection - feathers, string, leaves, lace, stencils cut from paper or thin plastic, etc.
- Soft tip brush pen or Qtip for making marks
- material to print on, fabric or paper
- A place to hang or lay your many prints as you work
1. Place a
textured object on top of the inked plate.
Gently press the object
down to be sure it has made good contact with the surface of the plate.
Be gentle; you don't want to tear, gouge, or damage the sensitive gelatin.
2. Leave the object in place on the plate and lay a piece of paper
down on top of it, pressing gently to ensure that the paper makes good
contact with the exposed gelatin plate. Peel the paper off.
resulting print is called a negative image.
3. Continue by gently lifting the textured object off the gelatin. Try
not to move it across the gelatin. Lay a second piece of paper down
on the gelatin plate and rub gently and evenly to ensure good contact
between the paper and the gelatin. Slowly peel the paper off. This
print is called a positive image.
Voice of Experience: ~ The gelatin plate is quite cold when it comes out of the
refrigerator and moisture may condense on it initially for up to 20
minutes. Use a blank sheet of newsprint to blot this excess moisture before inking again...or accept that your first prints may be little bit
runnier than your later prints.
~ At room temperature, a chilled plate can become wetter and softer after 2 or 3 hours of use. Refrigerate to restore it to print quality.
Step 4. Clean & Store Your Plate:
You will need: water for water based inks, soap and water for oil-based. Rinse it under a gentle flow of cool water, and use a soft brush or sponge to assist. DO not use a hard spray! If using soap, rinse well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.You may keep the plate covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 week for re-use. If it cracks or dries too much for use, re-heat it and re-poured
Voice of Experience: ~ If you have small imperfections in the surface, try running a heat gun gently over the entire area for a quick remelt & smoothing. ~ NEVER dispose of gelatin down your drains. It will re-gel down there in your pipes, and is quite a bother. Dump into compost or trash bin.