View Full Version : Gelatin Prints

12-23-2002, 10:37 PM
Has anyone tried making Gelatin Prints? Read it somewhere but unusre what it is. Sounds interesting though!

12-24-2002, 08:05 AM
I just recently bought a book about this method. I'm hoping to try it after the holidays.
You use knox gelatin to make a plate in a mold (of sorts) and then use the gelatin plate as your painting surface. Should be interesting...to say the least. :)

I'll let you know more when I get to it...I barely have time to think these days. :(


12-29-2002, 12:26 AM
Let me know how it comes out, Gisela. I would think that the gelatin would not be stable enough to run through a press.

01-20-2003, 12:59 AM
Very interested to see this topic mentioned. Don't know anything about it, really, but recently saw a tv show where survivors of the German prison Kolditz described using it to make prints. I forget what they were printing, maps or directions or something. They got lemon jello in their Red Cross packages and mixed it in a shallow pan. (I think lemon was the only flavour that worked, the red kinds didn't print so well.) They laid a picture or whatever on top of the jello and the picture would transfer to it, then they would lay blank paper on the jello and pick up the print, not very many and each one paler than the last. My memory is hazy but I think that's how it went. I remember being fascinated when I saw the show but I never got around to trying it. Does anyone remember those old "ditto" copiers they used in schools before photocopiers (and before the gestetner? Don't ask how old I am please!) Anyway, I think they worked on the same principle - a layer of gelatine and strong purple ink. I have a package of lemon jello in my cupboard; I might try something on my day off. Since I'm not in prison I guess I needn't be limited to lemon jello but I'd really like to see what happens. Thanks for the reminder.

01-20-2003, 02:39 AM
Wow Agnes -- fascinating story.
If you try it, let us know how it goes. :)


01-20-2003, 12:36 PM
Thank you for that bit of history. I definitely remember the old ditto machines.......lol I also remember when they came out fresh and were handed to the students that everyone had their noses to the paper.......hehehe Loved that smell!

Anytime someone has a bit of history to share please feel free to. In fact I believe I will open a stickey for just that purpose. There were many of the old masters that also made prints, and their history is fascinating.

01-29-2003, 04:11 PM
Printing off of lemon jello. That sounds like an interesting experiment. Think I may have some in the cupboard.

I was reminising about those disgusting jello salads old aunts brought to family events. You know, the shreds of carrot and mysterious gunks of who knows what suspended in a translucent yellow mound of molded jello.

Ditto machines. I remember everyone picking up their paper and sniffing it as the teacher passed them out. The world hasn't been the same since the photocopier came on the scene.

The way you described the printing method it makes me wonder if that is how the idea for Silly Putty developed.

02-18-2003, 08:23 PM
Ditto copies.....that smell......what a flood of memories......

02-21-2003, 02:42 PM
what an interesting topic!
Heres a few recipes I found for gelatin printing :
This one is for the ink-


Heres a couple for the gelatin plate itself -


And heres a bit I found about Collotype which is related -

Collotype: this is a very fine commercial photo-realistic ink printing process which is based on the fact that gelatin layer sensitized with ammonium dichromate  loses its ability to absorb water after it is exposed to the light and becomes receptive to the lithographic inks. Since its discovery in 1854 in France, collotype remained an important method of fine printing until recent years.  The tonal subtlety has made it the perfect medium for the reproduction of drawings, watercolors, photographs and even oil or egg tempera paintings. Several works of Andrew Wyeth and Norman Rockwell were reproduced as collotypes by Triton Press and Black Box Collotype. Collotype's gelatin printing surface has a distinctive and unique network of  a very fine curving cracks, similar in kind to aquatint grain.  Human fingerprints, this unique pattern, can play a role in  I.D. when the print's authenticity is under the question. Unfortunately, it seems like only very few enthusiasts on the planet still practice this rewarding process.

Sounds cool, eh ? heres a description of Collotype process and what it looks like .