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Digital Alchemy: Printmaking techniques for fine art, photography, and mixed media by Bonny Pierce Lhotka

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10. Introduction to Gelatin Transfers

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I grew up near Chicago where my parents operated Bud’s Steak House. I still remember my parents using a gelatin slab to print menus for their restaurant. They used a colored pencil to create an original image, and then transferred it to the gelatin. I would watch as each sheet of paper was placed on the slab, and was amazed when the writing moved to the paper. I still feel that magic every time I transfer a print using gelatin, creating a slightly altered image on the new surface. When I do this by hand, there’s something personal and unique—something human—returned to a sterile, technical process.

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