More Inkjet Printing: Cloth, Paper & Gel Skin

Last post I tried out the non-porous digital ground so I could print on a piece of cloth (in this case a "book pelt"). Here are the next tries on the cloth and on the gel skin I mentioned previously. To alter inside pages, I also tried out artist's tape to mask words and masking fluid through a stencil to create a shape.

For the cloth, I used a dampened cotton swab and blurred out some of the hard edges of the photos after they were printed and before I sprayed the images with the archival varnish.

I made the gel skin from self-leveling clear gel poured onto a piece of disposable palette paper, which I had painted first with a little gold interference fluid acrylic. The gel pooled like glue, then dried clear after  two days. I applied the non-porous digital ground on top of the dried skin and let it dry for a day. The palette page had to be cut down to printer size, but the skin  remained stuck to the palette page to print. I then proceeded with the printing, drying, spraying, and drying as before.

Top left: Daniel Smith watercolor ground painted on cloth. (It works, but it leaves brushstrokes and texture; the Golden matte digital ground would probably work better.)
Top right: masking fluid through a stencil (vaguely visible)
Bottom left: artist's tape to mask words
Bottom right: gel skin coated with non-porous digital ground

Taped and printed. The top right paper got jammed in the printer because it fed diagonally by mistake, but it left an interesting image anyway that happened to enhance the content.

Clockwise from top left: gel skin (still on the palette paper), masking fluid, watercolor ground, artist's tape.

All tape  and masking fluid removed. You can peel the gel skin from the palette page now or spray it first.

Gel skin resting on dark background. Notice that the interference gold acrylic shows up very well here. If you make several skins please note that they will stick together or stick to almost anything else even when they are dry. Put pieces of the palette paper or aluminum foil between them to store. If you are planning a project with the gel skin, prepare it at least three days before you will need it.

To mat the gel skin or to use it as a window in a book cover, cut holes in two 4-ply museum boards and sandwich the gel skin between them.

Cover the boards or paint them with acrylic paint first if you like.

You can position and reposition the gel skin on one of the boards. Add a shim of extra paper to even out the surface (where there is no gel skin) before you attach the second board.

Adhere all with any kind of gel medium. The skin is now suspended.

Creating a board book with these layers, putting text behind the skin, printing text on the skin—these new tools open up excellent possibilities for enhancing message and meaning.


Linda said…
Hi Alisa,
Really interesting experiments with the new printing technique and pelts. I appreciate your sharing your experiences and observations with new mediums and the possibilities for use in books! Linda
Alisa, I just found your wonderful blog and I thought you might like to know how. I was at a site called "keywordfinder" trying to look up keywords to maximize my Etsy shop. When I searched on "Handmade Books" the usual came up like "bookbinding", "bookmaking", etc and YOUR NAME Alisa Golden. Yours was the only name that came up.

Long story short, I'm looking forward to following your blog and your book is on my Amazon wish list! Cheers!