Today's postings

  1. [Baren 35908] gelatin monotype Amanda Miller (guadalupe victorica reyes)
  2. [Baren 35909] Re: gelatin monotype Amanda Miller ("Amanda Miller")
  3. [Baren 35910] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V43 #4375 (May 30, 2008) ("Angee Lennard")
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Message 1
From: guadalupe victorica reyes
Date: Fri, 30 May 2008 15:11:33 +0000
Subject: [Baren 35908] gelatin monotype Amanda Miller
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Amanda Miller
Hello Amanda I like your prints. I was looking at your page from last tiem posting and I discovered the gelatin monotype.

Any other advice you or others might have for this technique. It is awesome and I have never seen it before. I would like to try it for my Art/Human development class. It ios so inexpensive and creative I cannot wait to try it. ¡¡¡¡¡ Greetings from México, Guadalupe

Call for Prints for Peace Monterrey, México
August 2008. Prospectus at:

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Message 2
From: "Amanda Miller"
Date: Fri, 30 May 2008 16:23:37 -0400
Subject: [Baren 35909] Re: gelatin monotype Amanda Miller
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Hi Guadalupe,
I learned about gelatin monotypes from Nancy Marcuewicz's book Making
Monotypes Using a Gelatin Plate, which unfortunately seems to be out of
print now. With gelatin monotypes, you basically create a "plate" from
unflavored gelatin, apply waterbased ink to the surface, and print. You can
do any techniques that you would do with traditional monotypes (like on
plexi or metal plates), but you need very little pressure (no press) to
transfer the ink. Something about the consistency of the gelatin creates a
little suction and does the work for you.

I've tried different ways of making and transporting gelatin for workshops,
and I think the best way is to a piece of thick plexi glass with a dam of
children's modeling clay to hold the gelatin (just make sure there are no
gaps). Using tin trays works well for transporting, but it can be
frustrating to get the gelatin out of the try without breaking it (I think
that quickly dipping the tray in hot water can help loosen it).

Maybe of interest to Bareners--in one of my recent workshops, a student used
clay tools to carve a design in the gelatin and make a relief print!

I'm going to paste text from a handout I use below. It outlines techniques
that are fun to try in a workshop setting and provides a recipe so students
can try it at home. Have fun!


*Painterly Prints: Monotypes from a Gelatin Plate*

While results of gelatin monotypes can mimic a variety of printmaking
techniques, the gelatin possesses its own unique characteristics, lending
itself to extensive experimentation. This versatile process requires no
press and uses water-soluble inks, such as water-based block printing or
monotype inks, and paints, such as gouache, tempera, and watercolor.

*Making the Gelatin Plate*

First, to create the gelatin plate, you will need two tablespoons of
unflavored gelatin for each cup of water and a container—either a shallow
baking tin with ropes of non-drying modeling clay around the interior edge
or a plexiglass sheet with edges built up with clay. Unflavored gelatin is
available in small packets at grocery stores and is sold in bulk as a
dietary supplement by health food suppliers. Plan to make a plate that is
about ½" thick. Boil half the water you will need and keep the other half
cool. Slowly stir the gelatin powder into the cool water, being careful
that the gelatin doesn't clump. Then, slowly stir the gelatin solution into
the hot water until it is dissolved. Pour the solution into your container,
which should be on a level surface. Sweep out any bubbles with paper
scraps. Generally, the gelatin will harden without being refrigerated, but
its life will be extended if you refrigerate it, and if you are working
without air conditioning in the hot summer, refrigeration is necessary. The
gelatin will be firm and ready to use in a few hours. Remove the clay
edges. If your gelatin is in a tin pan, remove it and place it on a flat,
non-absorbent surface, such as plexiglass. The gelatin plate can be cleaned
with a damp paper towel between prints. It can last 3 to 5 days, but will
eventually need to be thrown away. Never put gelatin down the drain or it
will clog.

Positive Manner

· Use brushes and brayers to develop the image.

Ghost Printing

· Print the leftover ink on the plate from a previous
print, resulting in a lighter, softer image.

Negative Manner

· Roll or brush ink onto the plate and remove the
unwanted ink for a "white line" image.

Texture Transfers

· Roll up the plate with ink. The ink should contrast
with your paper in order to bring out the most detail, so avoid light
colored inks if you are printing on white paper.

· On the inked plate, place relatively flat objects with
interesting textures, such as feathers, leaves, or lace.

· Blot excess ink with newsprint using light pressure, or
print to achieve a silhouette image.

· Remove the found materials, leaving their imprint in
the ink. Print again and the texture will appear in your monotype.

*"Intaglio" Printing*

· Create a drypoint image using an etching needle or
sharp nail to scratch a design into a plexiglass plate.

· Ink the drypoint plate and wipe it in the intaglio
method, cleaning the surface of the plate while forcing ink to the grooves.

· Place the freshly wiped drypoint plate face down on the
gelatin to transfer the ink.

· Remove the plexiglass and the image will be on the
gelatin. Use Q-tips to clean up any smudges or unwanted ink, and you are
ready to print.


· Roll or brush a flat application of ink onto your

· Use handmade or store-bought stencils to block out
areas of your plate that you don't want to print. Stencils can be made of
cardstock or mylar.

· If you are overprinting, as the image develops and some
areas become complete, they can be blocked out with a homemade stencil, and
you can continue developing your image on the uncovered areas of the plate.

Relief Printing

· Using an Xacto knife or disposable plastic knife, cut
your gelatin plate to create a line design with clearly defined shapes.

· The design can be printed in one color, with cuts
printing as white spaces between inked shapes, creating a "white line"

· The shapes can be inked with different colors
separately, and then assembled together for a colorful print.

· As you finish working with part of the plate, you can
cut away parts of the plate that are finished in your print, and continue
developing other areas of the plate.

· Also, try cookie cutters!

Registration and Overprinting

· Some of the most interesting results come from
overprinting, layering multiple techniques in a single print.

· If you are printing multiple times to develop a single
print, you will want to be sure that your paper is lined up the same way
each time.

· Make a masking tape frame the same size as your paper
on your work surface. Also, tape down the plexiglass that holds your
gelatin to make sure it doesn't shift while you're working. Use the masking
tape frame to line up your paper each time your print. If your plexiglass
is the same size as your paper, use the edge of the plexiglass to line up
the paper each time.

· Or, fold a strip of cardstock the same width as your
paper. Using light pencil, mark the cardstock strip and each piece of paper
you will use with a two or three lines that you will line up each time your


For more information on gelatin printmaking, I recommend Nancy Marcuewicz's
book *Making Monotypes Using a Gelatin Plate*, which has wonderful
illustrations and step-by-step instructions on these and other techniques.
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Message 3
From: "Angee Lennard"
Date: Fri, 30 May 2008 15:52:36 -0500
Subject: [Baren 35910] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V43 #4375 (May 30, 2008)
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Thanks everyone both on and off list for sending ideas of people to teach a
class here. I would love to fly in a wonderful teacher, and perhaps we
can... but Spudnik Press is young, and I am not sure we can afford that at
the moment. But we will be having a few brainstorming sessions about all of
this soon, and it is good to know our options, and have some feedback on
what people want to learn and are interested in. Thanks!

Angee Lennard