Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Jello Printing Tutorial


I think the reason this craft so appealed to me is because when I was growing up we used to have a gelatin- type ditto maker that we used to make copies-- back before xerox and scanners, etc were so widely available.  I haven't seen one of those in so long.  Does anyone else know what I'm talking about?

Anyway, this craft works well with either acrylic or fabric paint.  We found that tempera paint doesn't work as well (too runny).

Materials:

4 packets unflavored gelatin (like Knox)
 water
8 x 8 pan
plastic wrap
paint
paintbrush or paint roller
fabric or paper
leaves, flowers, etc with distinct shapes

1.  Line the bottom of the 8 x 8 pan with a layer of plastic wrap.

2.  In a medium saucepan combine the four gelatin packets with 2 cups cold water.  Warm the pan over low heat and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.
3.  Pour the gelatin into the plastic lined pan.  Cool in refrigerator for approximately 4 hours or until set.
4.  Remove the gelatin square to a place you don't mind getting dirty (newspaper all around would be a good idea)
5.  Wait a few minutes for condensation from the gelatin to appear on the surface so it can be wiped away.  Cover the gelatin with a layer of paint.

6.  Position leaves, other found objects on the gelatin.
7.  Place a piece of paper or fabric on top.  Gently press and rub with fingers.  Carefully remove fabric.  The fabric will have a negative image of the objects.  You can make a couple of these (will get progressively lighter)

(paper)
(fabric)
8.  Remove leaves, etc.  Place another piece of fabric, rub gently and remove.  The image you have now is a positive image

I kind of like this set.  Maybe I'll make a pillow out of them someday. :-)

Tips:
Gelatin can be carefully cleaned with a wet cloth in between each color.
The longer gelatin stays out of the refrigerator the more delicate it becomes.
After a while the gelatin will begin to get cracks, rips, etc.  These can add to the interest of the image.

After playing with the project myself, I let the girls have a try.  It was an utter failure.  I wasn't inclined to let them use acrylic paints, and the tempera doesn't show up as nicely.  Also, to get good images requires a bit more precision of movement than they are really capable of.  Maybe when they're older.

But, the jello was fun to squash in our hands, and it gave us an opportunity to quote one of our favorite rhymes:

Jelly on the plate!
Jelly on the plate!
Wibble wobble, wibble wobble
Jelly on the plate!

4 comments:

Sue said...

How did you get the positive print of the same picture? Also, I love that poem!

Katey said...

When you remove the leaves there will be paint underneath, but not in the surrounding space because you have previously soaked that up (with the negative print)

Maureen said...

Love this art activity.
I attended a workshop yesterday and the presenter was talking about the gelatin prints (pre-photocopier). I can't imagine copying pages in that way but definitely will try this with my families.
Thanks

Katey said...

When you remove the leaves there will be paint underneath, but not in the surrounding space because you have previously soaked that up (with the negative print)