Gelatin Plate Printmaking Recipe

 In Journal, Printmaking, Workshops

Monoprinting with gelatin plates is a helluva-lotta fun! The softness of the gelatin plates allows you to capture and print great detail in your artwork. When to comes to printing with gelatin plates, you have 2 options – either make your own, or buy them. I use both options! Below I share with you the gelatin plate recipe I like to use.

For a long time the only option was to make your own. They are easy to make, but depending on the ingredients used, had a limited life. The addition of glyercerin to the recipe seems to have soled that problem.

For those of us who would rather buy something ready-made, along came Gelli Arts and Gel Press

Gelli Arts produced a “non-perishable printing plate that had the same sensitive surface as gelatin; a plate that could be stored at room temperature [in the] studio; a plate that would always be ready for printing; and importantly, a plate made of non-toxic materials.

I run Gelatin Plate Printmaking workshops, and in these workshops we use commercially produced Gelli Art plates. I do a demonstration showing you how to make your own gelatin plates at home; and below is the recipe I use.

I like the convenience of the commercial Gelli Art plates but they can be expensive (ranging from AU $35-$85 depending on the size). Having said that, when looked after, they will last you years. Making you own gelatin plates means you can create your own large plates, or make one large and cut them into smaller plates. You can pour the mixture into any flat-bottomed tray, dish or bowl; creating plates of all sorts of shapes and sizes. My recommendation is to aim for a thickness of approx 8-10mm.

I my printmaking arts practice, I like to use both my own home-made gelatin plates and purchased Gelli Art and Gel Press plates.

When it comes to home-made, the best gelatin plate recipe I have found is published by Linda Germain. She has a great website showcasing her work, sharing tips and other resources related to Printmaking without a Press – www.lindagermain.com

Below is my adaptation of Linda’s recipe, converting her measurements to metric and referencing products readily available in Australia.

 

The Gelatin Plate Recipe I like to use

Ingredients

  • 375 ml glycerin – I buy 2x 200ml bottles, using 1 and 3/4 of the bottles, keeping the other 1/4 for my next plate
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 115 grams powdered gelatin – I buy 2x 100gm McKenzie’s tins, keeping the excess for my next plate
  • 1 and 1/2 cups rapidly boiling water

Utensils

  • large mixing bowl
  • rubber spatula
  • measuring cup
  • 22cmx 33cm biscuit tray. You could use any shape tray or dish, as long as you end up with approx 1cm thickness of gelatin mix for the plate
  • spirit level – to check the tray is level
  • strips of cardboard to level the tray (if needed)
  • newspaper strips to remove surface bubbles

Lets get making…

  1. Get all ingredients and utensils ready before you get started. Once you start, the gelatin reacts pretty quickly, so the better prepared you are, the easier the process is. This includes checking that your tray is level on the bench, ready to receive the mixture as soon as its ready. Use your spirit level and strips of cardboard to level the tray on your bench, making sure that it will be a safe place to leave the tray while the mixture sets (approx 1-2 hours).
  2. Place 1/2 cup cold water in a bowl.
  3. Pour half of the glycerin liquid into the water. I buy 2x 200ml bottles of glycerin, using 1 and 3/4 bottles for this recipe, so I pour all of the first bottle into the bowl at this stage.
  4. Using the spatula, stir to mix thoroughly, but mix slowly. This is important so as to not add bubbles into the mixture.
  5. Once thoroughly mixed, sprinkle all the gelatin powder into the water/glycerin mix.
  6. Using the spatula, mix and squish the mixture to remove all lumps and clumps of gelatin, maintaining a slow mixing (and squishing) motion to reduce the addition of bubbles.
  7. Once you have removed all of the lumps, add the rapidly boiling water and continue to stir, slowly, until all the gelatin crystals have dissolved.
  8. Once all the gelatin crystals have dissolved, add the remaining 175ml of glycerin. I pour in 3/4 of the 2nd bottle, saving the rest for my next plate.
  9. Slowly stir to thoroughly blend all ingredients. It is still important to maintain the slow stirring so you don’t introduce additional bubbles.
  10. Once all of the ingredients have been blended, pour the mixed liquid into the tray – slowly and carefully to avoid spilling.
  11. You will see some bubbles on the surface of your poured mixture. There may be a few, or there may be many.
  12. Use the newspaper strips to skim bubbles off the surface of your gelatin mix – slowly drag a strip of newspaper across the surface of your gelatin mixture.
  13. Leave the tray to set on the bench top. DO NOT move the tray until the mixture has set. Within 1-2 hours it will normally set enough to then move the tray to the fridge.
  14. Once set, place the tray in the fridge for the final ‘setting’. This will normally take 3-4 hours. I like to leave it overnight so that the plate shrinks a little in the tray, making it easier to remove it from the tray.
  15. Once set, remove the gelatin plate from the tray and it is ready to use!
  16. When not in use, place the gelatin plate between 2x sheets of acetate or stiff/hard plastic. This will protect the surface of the plate.

Storing and Caring for your Gelatin Plate

Once the plate has set you can lift it out of the tray and start using it.

storing your gelatin plates

The plate does not need to be stored in the fridge. If you do keep it in the fridge, it will continue to shrink. Refer below to see how much shrinkage can happen after a few days in the fridge.

I keep mine stored between 2 sheets of acetate/plastic. Any plastic no thinner than a laminated piece of paper will do the trick. Thin flimsy plastic (like plastic wrap or the plastic of plastic sleeves) will not protect the plate from impression marks.

Make sure, when you store your plate, that there is no foreign matter between the plate and the plastic covering. I may we create a permanent indentation on your gelatin plate.

Given the sensitivity of the material, some minor imperfections may not show up in prints, while others will be hard or impossible to avoid.

Comments and Troubleshooting

Gelatin plates really are VERY easy to make. Follow the instructions carefully and you should end up with a perfect gelatin plate to start printing with.

Having said there, there are some hiccups that can happen. I’ve made notes below with common problems.

The first time I made my gelatin plate using this recipe is was perfect! The 2nd time I had trouble squishing out the lumps. I decided to just go with it to see how it set – it was a good exercise to fully understand what NOT to do.

homemade-gelatin-plate-with-gelatin-blobs2

Gelatin Lumps

This is what can happen if you don’t squish out all of the lumps while you are slowly blending your gelatin, glycerine and water mixture. These lumps WILL appear on your printed pieces – they will add imperfections to the surface of the plate.

Mixing the liquid can take 5-10 minutes. Take your time to carefully squish all the gelatin lumps that formed when you poured the powdered gelatin into the water-glycerine mix. A slow motion with the spatula will do the trick. You could try to remove stubborn lumps when you pour the mixture into the tray, or move them to one end of the plate and cut that away when the pate has set; but it is best of you can remove them while mixing your ingredients.

homemade-gelatin-plate-with-bubble-scum

Surface Bubbles

This is when you realise how important it was to mix at each stage SLOWLY … if you mix the ingredients too fast you can introduce extra bubbles into the mixture. Some bubbles will occur naturally, but you want to work to keep this to a minimum.

Once you have poured the mixed ingredients into the tray, scraping the bubbles off the surface of the plate is easy, but the fewer bubbles there, the better the result. Too many bubbles can create a scum on the surface.

Simply drag a strip of newspaper across the surface of liquid once you have poured it into the tray. The liquid is thick and sticky, making it pretty easy to lift the bubbles from the surface. If you have too many bubbles or a scum on the surface, scrape them to one of of the plate, then when set the plate has set you can simply cut that section of the plate away.

homemade-gelatin-plate-with-gelatin-blobs3

Plate Shrinkage

From my experience, the plate will ONLY shrink if you leave it in the fridge. I like to leave it in overnight once the gelatin mixture has set. It really only needs about 4 hours for its final setting before its ready to work. If you leave it in the fridge overnight the plate will shrink a little in the tray. I left one plate in the fridge for 4 days (it was the spare fridge and I had forgotten about it). It shrunk a good 20mm in each direction. That wasn’t a problem, but good to have seen how much it can shrink in the fridge. I’ve not had any shrinkage issues when the plate is left out of the fridge.

Melting the plate and starting again

If you find that you have too many lumps in your finished home made gelatin plate, or you want to reshape it in a different mould, you can simple melt it down in the microwave or over the stove and repour it.

Cut the plate into small squares – 1x1cm or 2x2cm. I placed my squares into a microwave dish and microwaved them for about 2 minutes on a lower temperature. Every microwave is different. Start with small amounts of time, and keep a close watch on the progress. You’ll see it return to its liquid form, then its ready to re-pour.

If you had gelatin lumps in your plate, before melting, you’ll find those lumps still in the melted mixture. Remove and discard them before you pour your mix into its new mould.

You may also find that the reformed plate is a little less flexible than the first. I suspect that that is because it loses water when it is melted down. The plate still works just the same, but it may not be as wobbly as previous.

Note: please be careful with the melted mix. It will be hot, and sticky!
Another note: this only works for your home made plates. I’ve not tried, nor will I try, to do this on the commercial plates.

Gelli Arts gelatin plates

Commercial Gelli Plates

The commercially produced gelli plates are clear and soft. They are a sensitive surface to work with, soft and able to retail much of the detail of any item placed on top of it. If you hold the plate it is floppy, but retains its shape perfectly. While the surface can quite robust, it is important to remember that it is still quite sensitive. I tell my students to treat it as you would your own skin – it can scratch and mark if not used carefully.

home made gelatin plates

Homemade Gelatin Plates

Home made gelatin plates, using my gelatin plate recipe, will have a yellow tinge to them. They are a little floppier than the commercial plates, but work just as well. I have found that they don’t hold their shape as perfectly as the commercial plates, bit doesn’t worry me. You can experiment yourself with the gelatin:water/glycerine ratios to make a stiffer plate if you like. If you do experiment with the gelatin plate recipe above, please share below what you did and how your plate turned out.

Want to learn more about gelatin plate printmaking?

Printing with gelatin plates, home made or commercially bought, is fun and easy. There are many different approaches you can take, using different paints and inks. If you’re interested in learning my approach, attend one of my gelatin plate printmaking workshops. In them I share how I created my layered prints using organic materials. We print onto paper and fabric; and I demonstrate how to make a gelatin plate. Workshops run throughout the year, and I am available to private group workshop bookings too.

Gelatin Plate Printing and Monotype Workshop February 2018

Gelatin plate printmaking tips

Watch this space – I’ll be adding tips and ‘how to …’ articles over time.

Tip 1 – Gel Plate Printing – printing a white silhouette

Tip 2 – Gel Plate Printing – climbing mountains – coming soon

gelatin print example 1
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Showing 44 comments
  • Nicole
    Reply

    Hello Kim,
    Thank you for sharing your gelli plate recipe. I use a commercial one but they are a bit expensive and would like to try making one for myself. Do you have suggestions for plant varieties that print well using the gelli plate. The leaves I have used so far did not produce very detailed prints. Yours are lovely!
    Nicole

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      Hi Nicole, I love to use a mix of leaves – hard and soft. If you want to details, I recommend weeds! They usually give the best detail with their veins. Its good to mix the hard and soft leaves for some contrast in shapes on the paper. Jacaranda tree leaves are fun to play with too – lots and lots of little leaves on the stems. My next step with the gelatin plate is to melt down one of the ones with the undissolved blobs of gelatin and have a go at salvaging it. I’ll post about that after I ahve had a go at it.

    • Ellaina A Winthrop
      Reply

      I just made a large 22″ x 16″ gelli plate out of candle gel wax. It feels just like a purchased gel plate. Under $25 with coupon at Hobby Lobby. They have a gallon bucket of it in stock. Cut up pieces and placed them in a baking dish, 170 degrees in oven for two hours, no bubbles.

      • Kim Herringe
        Reply

        Hi Ellaina, I’ve not heard of ‘candle gel wax’ before. I’ll have to see if I can get it in Australia and give it a go. Thanks for sharing !! 🙂

  • Annie McIntosh
    Reply

    Thankyou Kim for clear instructions. Many of the overseas recipes use packets of gelatin that are hard to assess exact weight. Gives me confidence to play with the medium.

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      Hi Annie, so glad this is useful for you! Oh do play. Its such a fun medium to work with. So many possibilities, and the plate is so easy to make. My next step is to melt down one of the plates with chunky gelatin bits (I didn’t squish them all out when making the last plate) and reset it. I’l also going to have a go at making circular plates, and other odd shapes. You just need a container with a flat bottom – really you’re limited only by your imagination.

  • Megan Bice
    Reply

    Thank you Kim, best recipe for us Australians ever. Loved that you showed what can go wrong as well.

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      Thanks Megan! I think its important to share the mistakes. We all make them, so by sharing we can all learn from them.

  • Donna
    Reply

    Home made gelli plates are great. When mine gets worn, I put it in the microwave in a Pyrex jug, melt it down, and repour it into my systema container and make a nice new plate. Very effective.

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      I melted one of mine down the first time a few weeks ago. I found that it changed the overall feel of the plate, I guess with reduced water maybe, but I loved working with it.

  • Liz Allender
    Reply

    I have made gelli plates before using recipes similar to yours and found them to be a bit too jelly-like and damage easily. I set out to make something a bit more rubbery and durable and I have just made exactly what I was after!
    I measured 2 cups of glycerine and then added roughly 120g of gelatine powder.
    I tried dissolving the gelatine directly in the glycerine by heating it gradually in the microwave 20 seconds at a time and stiring. It wasnt quite dissolving so I added small amounts of boiling water and stirring until the gelatine was dissolved. I poured the mix into some muffin cases and a large loaf tin to a depth of 1 – 1.5 cm and put this in the fridge. Within 2hrs I touched the surface of one and it was really good firm and rubbery. I took them all out of the molds and the gelli plates are perfect. They are firm and easy to handle, like the plastic polymer version. But the surface is bouncy with give. The surface feels like a plastic polymer, I cut the loaf tin size plate into 3 pieces because I wanted small stamping plates. The geli plate was very firm but I cut it easily with a very sharp knife and firm pressure.
    I am so excited by the results it is exactly what I was after. I thought I would share this, in case anyone else was after the same thing.

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      Thank you for the information Liz! I had one ‘fail’ with making my gelli plates, but I’ve found my recipe works pretty well. If I leave the plate in the fridge for a few days it seems to ‘set’ the jelly better and its a pretty robust plate to work with. Reducing the amount of water can help too.

  • Katie
    Reply

    Have been so keen to start with this and just tried my first attempt at making a gelli plate 😀😂🤣 didn’t have the right quantities of ingredients, so had to resize the recipe. Then put the final glycerin in before the boiling water so mucho lumps! Then had to strain the mixture twice to remove the lumps. And now have a rather scummy looking surface 🤔😂🤣 however we will see how it sets. Think the day is too hot as well. Maybe I should stop being a cheapskate and just buy one… will keep you posted

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      Hi Katie, yay for giving it a go! Have a go at melting it down in the microwave and re-pour – see if that sorts the surface scum. Or – can you use the ‘bottom’ of the plate as the surface. Nothing to say you can’t use the bottom side as the print side. Very much looking forward to seeing what you print !!!!

  • Anne
    Reply

    Hi Kim,

    Thanks for the great article. I’m hooked on gel printing as well and have the commercial plates in a variety of sizes but really want one that’s at least as big as an A3 or even A1 which is why I’m going to have a go at diying my own.

    How large of a surface does your recipe cover? I’ve made my forms (out of plexiglass in the sizes that I need and don’t want to run out of ingredients half way through). I think because my forms are so large I’m going to aim for a depth of about 2cm… What do you think- do I need to double, triple, quadruple or more) your recipe?

    Best,

    Anne

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      Hi Anne, I have found an A3 sized Gelli plate. They’re not cheap but I’m finding the effect between the commercial and home made plates different. I like both, but for the work I’m doing at the moment I’m preferring the commercial plate. I’ve also though about making a plate the size of my work desk. I am wanting to create some wall hanging gel prints and debating between trying to print them from one plate or printing several smaller plates in the space.

      As for the recipe – it makes enough to fill a standard biscuit tray, approx 10mm thick. To go A3 you would need 1.5x – 2x the amount. To go A1, probably 4x, maybe 6x if you want to increase the thickness. I’ve been thinking about how to go about it. The home made mix, once mixed, is very sticky and does start to set quite quickly once poured into the tray or pan. I would recommend have 1 or 2 people to help – each mixing the batch as per the recipe, then working together to pour into the tray. Have a go at making it as per the recipe first, then you’ll get a better feel for it.

      If you do make a big one, I’d love to see the end result! Of both the plate and prints!!!! Go forth and print !! 🙂

  • veronica aldous
    Reply

    My gelatine would not dissolve without microwave intervention. It’s not the one in your recipe as I am in the UK. I used plain beef gelatin ( pooh gosh!) I found it easier to skim froth with newspaper and then push the bubbles to the side with a sharp knife and pop them. I hope it will be ok! I will let you know! I am quite excited.

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      Frustrating for you that you had to dissolve the gelatin in the microwave. When you get the chance, try a different brand and see if that’s easier to work with. I like the idea of popping the bubbles. I have thought about leaving them on the plate … I think they’d make some interesting marks in the gelatin print. I’d love to see some of you finished prints!

  • Mandy
    Reply

    Hi Kim, thank you for your recipe! I’m in Katherine NT where it is usually 38 degrees (32 in the dry!) and just wondering if you have noticed whether hot weather affects the plates, will they melt ? I’m still prepared to give them ago but may not always have a fridge handy!

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      Hi Mandy, yes, hot weather will affect it – but if you can store it in a cool dry place (like a cupboard) it may be ok. I’d make one and see how you go with it. I had some of mine stored in an outside cupboard that gets full sun in the morning. I had used them in the afternoon and they seemed ok – it wasn’t until I wanted one in the morning that I could see how much the heat was affecting the plate. It was as if the outer layer was melting a bit. Bit it was probably 10-15+ hotter int he cupboard than outside when the sun was on it. I’d love to hear how you go with it in the heat if you do make one.

  • Schöller Petra
    Reply

    dear kim – what can I do if my diy-plate is tooooo soft? melt it again and put in more gelatine ?
    petra

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      Hi Schöller, my first thought is to melt it down and re-pour it without adding more gelatin. I’ve found that water evaporates with each melt, so it gets a little stiffer. I guess it depends on how soft it is. If you think its too soft and flimsy, maybe melt half and mix with a fresh batch mix, but only use half of the ingredients for the new batch, with some added gelatin. Does that make sense? Good luck. I’d love to hear how you go with it.

  • Linda MacAulay
    Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing this Kim. Worked well and I have made 3 plates using this recipe. I love that it is Australian. and appreciate all the time you have put into this very generous post.

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      Thanks Linda! Thrilled it worked for you!! Viva la gelatin plate printing!

  • Anne
    Reply

    Hi Kim,
    I was wondering if you managed to do magazines transfers with the homemade gelli plate ?
    Thank you

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      Hi Anne, I have to admit that I haven’t tried that. I have worked with magazine tranfers on the commercial gelli plates but not the homemade. I imagine it will still work – but with less or more of a ‘reaction’. Give it a go! And I’d love to hear how you go. It may be an idea to try pages from different magazines – they will be commercially printed at different places and there may be a difference in the inks they use and their reaction with the gelatin plate.

  • K Parkin
    Reply

    Hi my geli plate from last year has gone mouldy. Is there any problem in adding essential oils eg tea tree to try to stop mould growth? Will it still set ok? Would that work? Has anyone else had this problem???

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      Hi K, I haven’t had a mould problem, but have had a problem with it melting when left in a hot cupboard. If it were me I’d probably cut or scrape the mould off, then melt the gel plate down and re-mould. How do you store your plate? I keep mine between 2x sheets of acetate. I live in a warm wet climate so mould is a real problem here, but I haven’t had a problem with the plates.

  • Bronte Woyziechowski
    Reply

    Hi Kym, many thanks for this wonderful site! I am new to this type of printing but am intrigued with the artworks produced using this method. I made my first gel plate last night using your recipe (Thanks so much for the conversions!) I left in the fridge over night as you suggested and it has set beautifully. Hardly any bubbles and came out of the pan nicely. Very very happy until I realised the centre was lighter and softer in colour, my gut feeling is that i was TOO gentle and perhaps did not mix through well enough, i think the clearer area in the middle is mainly glycerine.. my question is, can you melt down and re pour a new mould if you have already used the plate? I’m keen to give it a go today to see if it performs properly but don,t want to if it means I cant re pour (even though considerably cheaper, the ingredients were still pretty expensive) Also, what is the best way to clean the plate after printing? Thanks so much for your time, I LOVE your artwork! Very inspiring. Cheers, Bron

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      Hi Bronte, YES melt it down, give is a good slow mix and stir then repour. I cut mine into approx 2cm x 2cm pieces then microwave for 20-30 seconds on a medium heat. I can’t remember exactly, but give it a few shorts bursts until you can see it has all melted. When you repour and it resets it will be a little stiffer as water evaporates out a little. That should hopefully fix the problem. Let me know how you go. cheers, Kim

  • Zoey
    Reply

    Hi Kim,
    my plate looked beautiful…. until I had to take it out of the pan! I was peeling it out and it tore a little and then it got bigger until I just decided to cut it up and melt it and repour it. It’s currently sitting on my counter setting up until I put it in the fridge overnight. I think it was too soft, how can I fix that? Also what is the best way to clean my plate?? Thanks much, Z

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      Hi Zoey, I’ve found that if my plate ended up too soft it was because I wasn’t paying close enough attention to the water:gelatin ratio. Another reason could be that the gelatin wasn’t dissolved enough in the water mixture. I have found that when I melt it down and repour, some of the water has evaporated so it should be a little stiffer once it has set. Also, you don’t ‘need’ to set the plate in the fridge. I just do that to let it shrink down a little in the pan. As for cleaning – if you are cleaning while using, between paint or ink layers – I use baby wipes. You could use a soft rag and water. If the plate is stained, then a mineral oil is the best. I use Baby Oil. The cheapest one I can buy. That will remove most stains from the plate. I’m not too worried by stains. It is the plate that is stained and I’ve not found that the stains transfer to the paper when printing. I hope that helps you!! Let me know how you go. cheers, Kim

  • Brenda Wallis
    Reply

    After remaking my gelli plate several times I have found that the surface nolonger is as receptive to
    paint of any kind. As I roll the paint on the surface it comes off onto the roller.
    Has anyone else experienced this? I have now abandoned my 3 old plates and making a new one but would like to avoid this happening.
    Any ideas?
    Thanks.

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      Hi Brenda, I have only re–made plates once. A friend has done it several times with no issue. what paint are you using? cheers, Kim

  • Brenda Wallis
    Reply

    Thank you Kim for responding. On the new plate I have found liquid acrylics work well but small bottles of craft paint (don’t have the make on hand) seem to continue to be picked up by the roller. I m using a soft roller. How hard do you recommend rolling?
    Thanks
    Brenda

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      Hi Brenda, it may be the paint that is the problem. Some acrylic paints dry almost as soon as you put them on the plate – even when using new home-made plates and fresh-out-of-the-packet commercial Gelli plates. I use Golden Open acrylics. They are designed to stay ‘open’ longer with a slower drying time. I can roll really thin layers of paint on the plate and take several minutes to ‘think’ about the layer and it still prints perfectly. I have played with Matisse Structure and Jo Sonja paints. Both dry faster that the Golden Open, but at different rates, I assume dependent on the different pigments. I have found that the cheaper the paint the less successful it is on the Gelli and homemade gelatin plates. As for rollers – I use both hard- and soft-rollers. You don’t need much pressure at all to roll the paints on the plate. The gelatin provides such a soft surface and is super-receptive to anything on its surface. I’m not sure how helpful I’ve been, but I suspect the paints are the problem. Do you have access to Golden paints where you are in NZ? If you could get hold of one colour to have a play and see if it reacts differently for you, that will help solve the problem. I buy mine from The Sydney Art Store online. cheers, Kim

  • Bronte Woyziechowski
    Reply

    Hi again Kim, many thanks for that! I did melt down and re mix, I let it set again overnight and it has come out beautifully! I like that it is a bit stiffer and the only feedback is that the plate was a little thinner than before due to a bit of mixture lost through re pouring into different vessels when melting and I guess water loss. all in all, very happy! Thanks so much and keep up the beautiful work! Bron

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      YAY YOU! So happy its worked out for you. Go forth and print!

  • Brenda Wallis
    Reply

    That is a full and comprehensive response Kim. Thank you. Yes I think you are right. Drying too quickly is the problem.
    I cannot get Golden Open acrylics locally but I can send for some and will do that.
    Have you ever used Akua Printing Inks? These do not dry at all until they are on the paper.
    Previously I tried many types of paint and ink including oil paint (worked well) but now I am now anxious to not mess up my plate which I obviously did before!
    Thank you again
    Brenda

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      Hi Brenda, so glad we’re getting to the bottom of the problem. I have used Akua inks – about 8 years ago. I didn’t like them, but I was using them for printing collagraphs. Hand’t thought to try them with the gelatin plates. Definitely give them a go if you have them on hand. Re messing up your plate – a mineral oil (like baby oil) will remove any staining on the plate. I find that stains don’t print on subsequent prints, but I like to work on a clean plate so I clean them down with mineral oil as and when they stain. Good luck with the golden open paints. I think you’re going to love them! cheers, Kim

  • Margaret
    Reply

    Thank you for this recipe, I made one today and done a couple of prints so far. What is the best way to clean the plate off?
    So far I am loving the results

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      Hi Margaret, yay! More gelatin plate printers!! When I’m printing with the plate I use baby wipes to clean the paint between layers, and the brayer/roller too. You could use a soft cloth and water – that would work perfectly. If the plate stains, the stain won’t transfer in a print – it just discolours the gelatin plate. But you can use mineral oil (ie baby oil) to remove the stain. I use the cheapest baby oil I can buy and it cleans the plate up beautifully. Go forth and print! Cheers, Kim

  • Dana
    Reply

    I love your work! Perhaps using gelatin sheets will provide the clear finish of commercial plates. They’re typically used by professional bakers and are crystal clear. Much love. Dana.

    • Kim Herringe
      Reply

      Thanks Dana 🙂 I have only ever used the powdered gelatin, and have read that the recipe doesn’t work with the gelatin sheets. I haven’t tried the gelatin sheets so I can’t vouch either way for that. I suspect that the commercial gelli plates don’t use gelatin at all. I have read that they’re not silicone, but I’m not sure what they are. I have a range of sizes in the commercial gelli plates and have been using them exclusively for most of this year.

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One Tree Hill, Maleny, overlooking the Glass House MountainsPrintmaking and Teaching - my 2 passions