Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Gelli Printing

My mother always says what goes around comes around again and gelli printing has certainly come full circle. My friend, Julie, sent me to one of her blog posts, showing me some prints she recently made with a silicone gelli kit. My noggin got to twitching and I ran for my bookcase. Back when I was a young lass,  teaching Sunday School, Jr. Church, and VBS before my grandma passed away, she gave me a set of books she used when she taught wide-eyed younguns in her country church back in the early 60's. This is one of the recipes  she used to replicate coloring sheets. Back then it was called a Hectograph and was a specially prepared gelatin surface for duplicating material. You can make your own quickly and inexpensively. Prepare the base as follows:

1 pt. pure glycerin
2 boxes gelatin (8 envelopes)
Enough cold water to moisten gelatin.

Heat glycerin over low flame to boiling point.
Moisten gelatin with cold water. Be sure it is thoroughly soaked. When glycerin boils, add gelatin slowly, stirring until dissolved. Pour mixture into a pan approximately 12" x 9" x 1". Mixture should be about 1/2" thick.

Allow hectograph filler to set while you trace patterns to be duplicated on hard surface paper with a hectograph pencil, or type material with a hectograph ribbon or use hectograph carbon paper. (You can make up to 50 usuable copies with the hectograph carbon paper.)

When gelatin filler is thoroughly set, moisten surface slightly and apply copy to be duplicated. Apply paper to gelatin so there are no wrinkles. Smooth paper and remove. Design will be duplicated. To clean hectograph, carefully sponge off with cold water.

I have no idea what a hectograph pencil, ribbon, or carbon paper are, but I sure bet you can use this recipe for making your own gelli printmaking kit. For up-to-date instructions on printmaking, visit Linda Germaine's Blog on Printmaking without a Press.