I tried the recipe for a gelatin plate as provided by a commenter on my previous post(thank you!) It was for a video that can be found here:
Basically it was gelatin, isopropyl alcohol, glycerine and water. Since the isopropyl alcohol and the glycerine are serving the same purpose(plasticizing agents), the isopropyl alcohol could be eliminated and replaced by more glycerine. However I didn’t have enough glycerine to do this, so I had to go with both of these ingredients.
This was way too much like my previous job working in a laboratory where we used isopropanol regularly(but we had proper ventilation for it).
The gelatin plate did form nicely, but not unexpectedly, it still has a very strong alcohol odor. In addition I found that it tore quite easily(maybe it was not deep enough?) and the paper stuck to the edges of the plate too much and tore off small pieces of the plate. Other than that, it did do a good job as a monoprinting surface. Below is a quick print that from the plate (2 pulls!).
I managed to cut the plate into 2 smaller sections(avoiding the tears and the edges) which I will keep for future use. If my next recipes aren’t any better, then I will come back to this one and play with the recipe/preparation to see if I can get it to work better.
So, next I will try 2 simpler recipes. The advantage of the alcohol/glycerine is that the plate doesn’t need refrigeration since it shouldn’t get mouldy even at room temperature. However, there are advantages to plates going mouldy- Linda Germain (http://www.lindagermain.com) gets some of her most beautiful prints on mouldy plates!!! Needless to say the mould has to be scraped off, but it leaves wonderful holes and patterns on the gelatin surface apparently.
So, for the next plate I will skip the alcohol entirely and use just glycerine. For the second plate I will also skip the glycerine too, so this plate will be just water and gelatin. I’ll post these results when I get a chance to experiment…I need more supplies, but luckily I found out that glycerin costs 50% less at Superstore compared to Safeway…