“It feels like a squid. It’s fabuloso!”

Sunflower and Fern groups have been working on representing and depicting the figure in many different ways with a variety of materials.  Three weeks ago, children were introduced to Gelli plates, which are plates made out of durable gelatin that can be used over and over for mono printing.  I absolutely love to work with this material, both in the Studio and at home.  We began by passing Gelli plates around and friends described what they looked like, felt like, and even smelled like.

Andres: It feels like a squid.  It’s fabuloso!

Trebor: It looks like jello.

Zavier: I think it’s made out of old paper.

Madison: Like, strawberry jelly?

Kwame: It’s so sticky.

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Miguel: It’s floppy and I can drop it so easily.

Waju: It’s made out of water and ice and it mixes together to make that.

Nneka: When I rub it, I see the lines I made.

Ra’Maya: It smells like crayons.

William: Squishy and stretchy.

Adrian: It’s gooey.

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Elijah: The name is kind of funny.  Smells like goo.  Really, really stretchy.

Douglas: They look so shaky.

Selwyn: It looks like a piece of cheese for the Krabby patty.

Sophie: It wiggles!

Next, I walked friends through the steps of how to use a Gelli plate.  We began by putting a small amount of paint directly on the plate.  I suggested using the squirt bottles to put one spot of paint in each corner, which seemed like the perfect amount.  Then, we used a brayer to roll out the paint.  Friends said the brayer reminded them of what you use to paint a house, or a wheel on a big truck.  Once the paint was in a smooth layer, we used finger stamps and scrapers to create images in the paint.  Once they were happy with the composition, they set a piece of paper down, rubbed it with their hands and VOILA— their image transferred to their paper!

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Zeina: I know, the paint will go from the Gelli plate to the paper!  This is going to be super fun.

Adrian: This is so amazing and fun.

Destynee: It’s so pretty, isn’t it?  It makes other shapes.

Ayub: This is my favorite!

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Selwyn: My Gelli plate is clean again.  I love this.

Elliott: Guys, look what I made.  It looks pretty great!

William: I can’t wait to see mine.  Wow, it looks like an underwater jail!

Mae: Oh yeah, go gelatin!

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Zoe: You have to make big decisions before you put the paper down on the Gelli plate.

Zavier: I used the scraper to make a “Z,”  isn’t it gorgeous?  It’s a painting of rain.

Carlos: It’s so quick.

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Elijah: I’m an artist making my hands dirty.  Wow, this turned out really good!

Stay tuned for a post on how we combined representing the figure and Gelli printing!

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