Monday, July 30, 2012

Gelatin Leaf Prints

Gelatin printing!  Have you ever tried it?  Frankly, I thought it was gonna be lame but I am so happy to report that I was WRONG!! It is positively addicting and the "thrill of the reveal" never got old for me.
While there are many, many things that you can print, I stuck to leaves cause I am a botanical kinda gal.  Lots of times I fill vases with greenery only - no flowers.
Kim is my crafty cohort and came to play on Friday.  We wanted to compare her Gelli Plate with the old school technique of using gelatin.  I boiled 4 cups of water and added three boxes of gelatin (4 envelopes each for a total of 12 envelopes) - that is a seriously big gob of gelatin and it didn't all melt - that's okay - just spoon out what doesn't dissolve and throw away.  Poured it out onto a jelly roll pan and let dry overnight - no need to refrigerate.
Used a brayer and a couple colors of water-soluble print ink to ink up the gelatin.
Topped with a leafy sprig,
then a sheet of paper (5.5" x 8.25") - massage the paper to transfer the ink to your paper.
LOOK how cool once the paper is removed!
Lift up your leaf. . .
and make a second print with the leftover ink.  The good thing about using the jelly roll pan is that you can do two sheets with one inking of the brayer (total of 4 printed sheets).
Played with some stencils too and then discovered how fun it is when you multi-print a couple of times!!  That's when things started getting interesting and the printing began in earnest. . .
Here is a parade of some of my favorite prints.
plain white cardstock,
kraft cardstock,
back of an envelope,
music paper and plenty of old book paper!  This was SO much fun!!  Maybe too much fun - I printed a zillion and one sheets.
Be prepared to see leafy prints appearing pretty regularly in the future.
In case you were wondering - Kim's Gelli plate worked great.  They are expensive though and I am notoriously cheap but there is no prep or cleanup with a Gelli plate - so I may spring for one someday although realistically I have no need for more prints any time soon, ya think??
Linking to Creative Every Day.


Gina Sismilich said...

love the prints - I, on the other hand, am a notorious tool addict. So I have a small Gelli plate and I really need to start using it more. Very inspiring.

Jenny Petricek said...

What gorgeous prints! I have heard about this method before but have never had the guts to try've certainly inspired me to take the plunge!

Jane Wetzel said...

these are fabulous- wow, never heard of this- thanks for the info :)

veronica said...

Not sure what a Gelli Plate is, but it looks like you had fun!

my fav print is the 2nd row, 2nd one from left in the first pic.

Linda Germain said...

Great series of leaf prints. I like to do that too. Keep it simple sometimes. Happy Printing

Kimberly Jones said...

Michelle! Those leaf prints look so stunning all together! I had the best time making prints with you, and I thought your gelatin was really cool, but I LOVE my Gelli plate! I'm ready to roll out some more prints already! Thanks for a fabulous artsy day!

Janet said...

This looks like fun! I love the prints you made. I can see them used in so many ways.

PS - I've just added Knox gelatin to my shopping list.

pauline said...

omg Michelle... i must be slow, and i'll need to read this again when i'm a little less rushed. This looks FANTASTIC!! As soon as i saw what looked like a recipe, i tensed up. :-) Let's just say the kitchen and i are not friends. But with each pic you posted, my mouth would drop. They look wonderful and i so love the textures of the leaves. Yeah, I'll read carefully again tomorrow, when i'm a little less tired. Beautiful... xox

Ell said...

Can you give us more specific information on the water soluble printers inks you used? (Brand and name of inks)

It looks like a lot of fun

andrea said...

Would love to know what brand inks you use. I love these so much and am thinking of having my son's class make a collage of prints for a fundraiser auction.

Michellem said...

Andrea -
I've used SPEEDBALL Water Soluble Printing Ink and BLICK Water-soluble Block Printing Ink.
As long as you have water-soluble ink it will rinse off your brayer - don't use letterpress ink (bad experience).
Have fun!