Gellie Plate Printing – Art Club (5th Grade)

Our school’s Art Integration Specialist was sent some Gelatin Plates to try out for printing – she writes for  The Art of Education, Sarah Dougherty.  She invited me to try these out with her after school and of course, I couldn’t resist.   She is writing an article that I think will have some great information about printmaking but I’m not sure when it’s getting published.  We had a lot of fun playing around with the possibilities and then she gifted me the gelatin plates to use with students.  Well, of course, I couldn’t resist and I immediately set it up so that my fifth graders could experience it in art club the next day!

The gelatine cuts very easily, in fact I cut it smaller using my cutting board.  And we simply used acrylic paints to ink with rather than printmaking ink which tends to stay moist longer amongst other things.

You can gather from the images how I approached this but I simply had four printing stations; one each had a place mat with the gelatin placed in the center.  Students added a dab of paint and used a brayer to spread the paint out.  They then used texture scrapers to create a design in the paint they had spread and placed a card over the gelatin and pressed down.  When Sarah and I did it, we used a sheet of plastic to spread out the paint like ink and then add it to the gelatin but I found that the method I did with my art club created a faster process which was ideal in the 25 minutes that I have with 20 students. I am eager to see her thoughts from our crafty session together. Either way works.

Students then removed their print, tried at a second color and new design and did a second layer of printing on top of their first.  These created some great pieces of work!  Students have asked if we can do it again!  Which we will! 🙂  The nice thing about these plates is that you can reuse them.  Sarah informed me that you can make home-made gelatin to print with but it has to be thrown out once you’re done.  But, my art club still wants to try it so we’re going to!


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