I checked out the book Create Your Own Hand-Printed Cloth by Rayna Gillman from the library and it was chock full of inspiration. Even though I had to return the book over a week ago, only today did I find time to try gelatin prints. Such a fun activity to do with the kids (mostly Oscar, Biscuit got bored after 1 or 2 prints)
The gelatin was made from a memory of the book recipe--I did four packets of unflavored gelatin in 1 cup hot water, dissolved, then added 1 cup cold water. In a 9 inch pan in the fridge for a few hours then set in hot water to loosen and flipped onto a foil lined cookie sheet. It was about 1/2 inch thick and seemed to work.
We painted with acrylics mixed with textile medium (probably needed more medium but kids weren't patient). Three sets of hands smearing on paint (everything I do lately is blue and yellow and thus green. I need to branch out). Anyway, smeared on the paint and then removed some by smacking with plants, placing leaves, drawing with the handle of a paintbrush etc.
Then we "pat, pat, patted" the fabric (linen from an old shirt of mine that I cut apart) onto the gelatin. Oscar loved the pat, pat, pat and peeling back the fabric to reveal the print. He would say, "whoa!" in such an excited voice. Sometimes we printed again without repainting. Sometimes we slapped on more paint. When we ran out of shirt fabric we printed on sketch pad paper.
All in all a very satisfying project.
I've been thinking lately about abstract art. It looks so easy and brainless but is SO hard to actually make it look good. It's very deceptive. But if you have a two year old in your life all you have to do is STOP them before you get a mush of colors and you're pretty much guaranteed something truly abstract. And possibly cool.
I don't have any particular plan for these squares of fabric. They could lend themselves to a cool quilt but the paint is a bit thick in places. I'll iron and wash and see if they're flexible enough. And even if they just end up in a pile, it was totally fun to make them tonight on the lawn.