Africa gelatine print jennifer petz



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I did it - today I melted down my first experimental slabs which were still going strong by the way. It worked really well and within 2 hours the new slab was ready, set and could be used. I used a waterbath pot (bought at amazon for 14€). I especially didn't use the microwave because I am not so sure it is safe with all the alcohol fumes which do get released. I'm really excited that it is so easy to reuse the slabs. I have read that one can freeze the pieces if one doesn't need them for a longer period of time. Will try that out too sometime.

In a dull moment yesterday I sketched a few ideas, that way when I started today I know exactly what I wanted to try.

It took me nearly 3 hours to get these two prints - time flies when you're having fun!


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Acrylic paints dry so quickly - thats good for our prints but bad for our tools. I use a sponge cloth in a tray next to me to quickly clean off my tools. First I wipe off excess paint on newsprint and then I wipe the tools over the sponge. This goes quite quickly and I have time to print in peace.


















I'm waiting and waiting and waiting for my gelatine slabs to break, go mouldy etc so that I can see what happens when I melt them down and make new slabs --- but they are still going strong since the middle of December. I really seem to have found the correct recipe!


montype gelatine printing

It doesn't always look this tidy when I work...!





The problem with acrylic paints seems to be solved. Wall-paper glue (a thin layer) just before I spread the acrylic seems to do the trick  and I can pull up to 3 prints and get a fairly good ghost print too.
I spent an hour this morning before work printing some little pages which I will turn into greeting cards later on today.

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I made this video because I wanted to show you the process of printing with three different colours / layers. Unfortunately I go so into the whole thing that I forgot to show the inbetween prints - well I did show them but not so that my camera could see.

The first two layers were printed with acrylic paint, mixed with a bit of wallpaper glue to prevent the paint from drying too quickly and get more of a translucent look. The red was printed with water-based oil paint, because the print is smoother and more predictable.

Look forward to making a few more videos soon.




Today I nearly freaked - the acrylic paint dried far too quickly. I couldn't pull the print off my gelatine slab quik enough. As for ghost prints ... well there was just nothing to do about it. So I experimented as always ... spreading a thin layer of wall paper glue onto the gelatine slab before I spread the acrylic paint seemed to solve my problem. Perhaps the alcohol in the new gelatine slabs reacts with the acrylic paint and makes it set  quicker.

My oldest gelatine-slab is two weeks old and still going strong. I am sure the alcohol added to the mixture really helped. It hasn't gone mouldy which is what happened with the first gelatine slabs where I only used water.

This is a patchwork made with a little gelatine-slab on an A3 piece of paper.










How to make a gelatine slab. I did it - I made the video!

Here is the latest recipe. It may change in the future.

I keep my slabs in a cool room and can use them over and over again.

Gelatine in tbsp/
Water /
Waser (ml)

Alcohol /
Alkohol (ml) and the same amoun of  Glycerine

Volume of container/
Volume vom Gefäß (ml)
 16  1000 500  2000
 8  500  250  1000
 4  250  125 500
 2  100  50  200


gelatine platte / slab for printing with gelatine






Here are a few examples of my latest creations:

Hier sind ein paar Beispiele:

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Positive & Negative

Roll out the acrylic or oil paint on the slab. I prefer oils but they take so long to dry. The water-based oil paints are the best. Should I need the prints to be ready sooner I use acrylic paint with a bit of retarder mixed into it. You have to plan what you want to do before hand and be prepared to work quickly especially to clean your brayer, I like to use an old bank card with acrylic.

In this example you can see the two prints one can get. I rolled out the paint, placed the leave on the gelatine slab and then a piece of paper over the slab, rubbed with my hand especially aroudn the leaves and pulled of the paper - the negative print. If I want even less background color I use a piece of newsprint to take a second negative print. Then I lifted the leaves and made a print - the positive print. If I took another print there would be what one call the ghost print.

One never knows how things are going to turn out - that is the fun.

I keep most of my prints and print two or three motives on the same piece of paper.


Gelatineplatte mit Farbe ausrollen.

Ich benutze gerne Öl-Farben auf Wasserbasis. Ich habe mehr Zeit zum arbeiten und meine Werkzeug kann ich in ruhe abwaschen. Nachteil: Öl-farben brauchen lang zum trocken, eignen sich dann weniger wenn z.B schnell mal eine Karte drucken Will. Ich mische ein paar tropfen Verzögere mit Acrylfarben damit ich nicht ganz so hecktisch arbeiten muss.

In diesem Fall habe ich ein Pietersilieblätter auf die mit Farbe bedeckte Gelatine-Platte ausgelegt, ein Blatt Paper drauf gelegt und dann mit wenig druck mein hand hin und her gerieben und das erste Druck gezogen. Bild 1: negativ

Dann die Blätter vorsichtig weg, und das zweite druck gemacht. Bild 2: positiv






So much fun without a plan -

but in order for me to have the feeling that I have really created something special, I need to have given some thought to what I am doing. Of course the plan is only the initial kick-start in a certain direction. Once I start I find that the paint reacts differently to the what I expected, the paper I use responds differently and the actual print turns out completely differently. Then after two hours of tryint to bring my ideas to paper - I am totally exhausted, but happy with what I've achieved. And so I feel as though I am approaching Art-making which is more than just randomly pulling prints.

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The results are the first three prints. The plans which I did on my ipad with "Adobe Ideas" are the last three. As you see what actually came out was completely different to what I had "sketched" but that doesn't matter. It helped me get into what I wanted to to do much quicker.