Words from the Woods – “I’ll Tell You How the Sun Rose a Ribbon at a Time” Emily Dickinson

Sep 21, 2015 by

Words from the Woods – “I’ll Tell You How the Sun Rose a Ribbon at a Time”  Emily Dickinson

Friday, September 18, 2015

Good morning Catoctin! Joining me at sunrise today are the usual suspects – bluejays, cardinals, woodpeckers and a few songbirds I have not heard here before.  I love waking up with these wonderful creatures in this lovely neighborhood.

Today I am excited about trying another new printing technique, monoprinting with gelatin.

I mixed up unflavored gelatin, poured it in a 9″ x 13″ x 1″ deep tray.  Gary, one of the rangers let me put this into the walk-in cooler  to firm up in the nearby dining hall since no one is using it this week.  I took a short hike, did some work in my journal.


About 1:30pm I retrieved my gelatin from the cooler and spread out the supplies for printing: Lots of paper (I used handmade white paper), green, orange, and brown acrylic paint, a brayer and newspapers for laying the pages on to dry in the sun.  Then I collected some leaves.

To begin, I put a small amount of green acrylic paint onto the gelatin and spread it around evenly with the  brayer.  Next I carefully placed a few leaves on the paint and very gently pressed them onto the paint.  I then laid a sheet of the paper on the tray and smoothed it down with my fingers.  I lifted then paper off slowly and there was my print – with negative images of the leaves.  I lifted the leaves off (green paint remains where the leaves were laying) and placed another sheet of paper on.  When lifted off, this sheet has positive images of the leaves.  After these two prints, you can wipe the gelatin off with a damp sponge, being careful not to gouge the gel.  Then start the process again.  As I got the technique down, I tried mixing tiny bits of other colors in.  Here are the results:

DSCN0782DSCN0783 (1)








This was great fun and I am so glad that I tried it.  I like the one on the left especially for use in a journal, because I can write on the white spaces.

I used an inexpensive plastic tablecloth over the picnic table, so clean up was easy – just laid everything in the middle and bundled it off the to the camp dumpster.

Later –

Goodbye dinner with Barbara, camp host, as she leaves tomorrow.  Then took a short hike among the trees before settling back into Cabin 16 for the night to work on my own journal.

Thanks for reading!


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