Over at Beautiful Beasts this week I am looking at fossils. I started with the odd little Devils Toenail which we find in abundance here and decided to experiment with a combined lino and gelatine print. The fossils are found in clay banks and surrounded by bits of vegetation. I thought I might try to get a feel of the plants and twigs etc by printing a background for the lino on a gelatine plate.
I played with some gelatine printing last year, more as a way of recording leaf shapes than of making finished prints but it can have rather interesting layered look. I will write a longer post about the techniques of gelatine printing but making the plate is easy and basically you just roll the ink onto the plate or brush it on, add shapes etc. then start printing. The surface is slightly damp and very sensitive and everything is a surprise.. well to me anyway. For some good info on gelatine printing see Linda Germain’s site.
On their own I am not sure I like the the prints too much, but it’s really just another way of mono printing. However the sensitivity of the surface is very interesting If you get it right you can achieve some fine recorded details which have potential for all sorts of applications. As with all techniques, it’s how you use it that makes it interesting.
I inked up the plate, made a mask to isolate the background, used a small piece of leaf as a added element and to print with and, after one wishy washy print did get something I thought I could use.
The gelatine print
Then I cut the lino, made a test print, then combined the two.
The proof. Hmm.. nicer than I thought it would be.
Combined with lino. Image 4”x4”.
I scanned this and added some extra black in Photoshop. It’s handy to be able to do this quickly. You can see what it might look like if you reduction cut the lino block and printed a black.
I rather like it!