June 11, 2014

Gelatin Plate Printing . . . The Results

This shows most of the pieces I printed on my first day with my permanent gelatin plate. None of these pieces were plain white fabric when I started. All of them had some sort of surface design and I didn't like the way any of them looked. The gelatin printing has improved all of them.

The blue trees and frame used to be beige and the mottled green was a solid bright apple green.
It used to be really ugly, now it looks kinda aged.

I ripped three sections of this fabric apart to print it on the gelatin plate. It has had everything you can imagine done to it. It was rusted. stamped, printed, rubbed with oil stick. screen printed, painted and now printed using the gelatin plate. 

I don't love it, but I l do like the light in this piece.

I like this piece but I think it needs more. The bottom layer is dyed but it isn't very interesting. The gelatin print helped it tremendously but it needs at least one more layer and more color.

I love this one. The bottom fabric was painted with Setacolor.

I love this one too. The bottom fabric was painted with Setacolor.

I've tried a few different types of textile paints and so far I like thin, transparent paint best. Please leave comments and let me know what has worked for you. We learn from each other!

June 8, 2014

Permanent Gelatin Printing Plate

I've used gelatin plates for printing in the past but I haven't had a lot of luck with them. It seems like they get warm really fast and needed to be refrigerated often. I didn't even get the process fully figured out before the plate fell apart. I read about somebody (sorry, can't remember who) that used glycerin as a preservative in a gelatin plate and it worked well. The printing plate did not need refrigeration and it did not mold. I saved the information - just in case.

Fast forward . . . Gelli Plates became popular and I became tempted to buy a large one, but then I remembered that I had a recipe for a permanent gelatin plate and I decide to give it a try. I ordered the glycerin from Amazon and searched for the perfect cookie pan. Once the glycerin arrived, it was really fast and easy to make.

Small Gelatin Plate Recipe:
2 TBS Gelatin
1/2 cup Glycerin
1/2 cup Boiling Water

Large Gelatin Plate Recipe:
12 TBS Gelatin
3 cups Glycerin
3 cups Boiling water

1) Mix the gelatin into the glycerin
2) Add the boiling water. Stir until dissolved
3) Pour into the pan and level
4) Let harden at room temperature

Gelatin from grocery store and vegetable glycerin from Amazon

Small Plate: Use a shallow container. Once gelatin is set, flip it over and remove the gelatin. Keep it stored, upside down on the lid so it can be used easily.

Large Plate: Use the Large Recipe or calculate how much gelatin your container needs to fill to the brim. I leave the gelatin in the pan even while printing. Make a cover for the pan to protect the gelatin. If the plate gets damaged, cut it up and put it in a microwavable container, melt it, then pour it back into the pan.

10" x 15" shallow cookie pan, filled to brim with gelatin

DO NOT clean up in your sink or you will clog your pipes. Wipe up the gelatin with paper towels and throw away. Rinse with hot water outside.

I've tested my plate already and it works great. I'll post photos in a couple of days.

June 3, 2014

Taming of the Threads

I'm happy to report that I was able to tame all the threads and managed to turn the fabric into a functional book cover. Much better than the store bought purple plastic binder, don't you think?

 Here's the front. It's really reversible, but I like this side best.

 I folded the flap fabric and stitched the raw edges into the outer edge. The binder slips right in.

Here's the back of the binder.

I went around the outside edge with two rounds of satin stitch. The first time was the middle setting on my machine and the second time was the widest setting. It turned out slightly wonky which feels just right.

June 1, 2014

Thread Fabric for a Guest Book

Fibervision just switched its guest book to a 3-ring binder format and I decided to make a book cover to jazz it up. To make the fabric, I'm using all the bits and scraps that "normal" people throw away. It has the thread tails, thread snots as I like to call them (knotted threads from fabric ends after washing), bits of fabric scraps and left over yarn. I arrange the bits on a fabric background until I like the arrangement, cover it will Solvy and stitch like crazy.

I've used this technique before but I've always mounted the finished pieces onto canvas or postcards. This will be the first time that I've created something functional with it. The fabric was wet and in the process of being blocked when I shot this photo. I underestimated how much shrinkage would occur and I have just enough fabric to cover the 3-ring binder.

Now I need to cut it to size and figure out a good way to secure all the loose threads. I think I'm going to go around with a couple rows of straight stitch, then do a wide satin stitch. Somehow, I'll have to attach pockets to each end too. Hopefully, it all works out because I don't have any time left for a redo.