Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Last Impressions

Remembering Fall
Monoprint, 11" X 14"

As my first gelatin plate was starting to disintegrate, I decided to try a print using natural materials. One of the interesting (and fun!) aspects of gelatin printmaking is that it lends itself to the use of all kinds of materials (the flatter, the better) to incorporate shapes and textures into pieces. The fluidity of the paint and the soft surface of the gelatin allow the capture of a thrilling amount of detail (yes, my world is small).

First, I painted the plate and laid the leaves and sprigs of lavender on top. The resulting print left open silhouettes where the materials blocked the transfer of the paint. I removed the leaves and reprinted. The impression the objects left in the paint during the first round was then transferred to the paper. Although I missed my registration, I liked the texture and detail it added.

Next, I overprinted the darker colors. I used a brayer to spread an even coat of color onto the plate. This method creates a different texture than when the paint is brushed onto the plate.

For the last print, I tried a small bundle of lavender, which in its bulkiness completed the destruction of the plate. I wouldn't exactly call it a success, but it's definitely a contribution to the learning process.

And, I’ve learned a lot. The second gelatin plate tore in to pieces after only two prints. Large dry areas on the plate tend to stick to the receiving paper (whoops). I have also discovered my gelatin to water ratio was incorrect. Math. Grrrr.

However, I am not discouraged. Sweet husband is going to cut me another piece of Plexiglas so I can set up two plates at a time to extend the creative frenzy (oh goody!). I can’t wait.

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