Jay Rancourt standing in front of one of her gelatin prints

This month and next, we have an art show from a familiar artist– our dear friend and former Library Director, Jay Rancourt. On exhibit are gelatin prints she made in the last 15 years, with a few pieces in other media.

Come visit with Jay at an artist’s reception on Saturday, August 5 at 11:00 AM.

Artist Statement
Gelatin printmaking does not require the use of a press, damp paper or solvents. By making a printing plate with ordinary culinary gelatin cooked in a saucepan until thick, and then poured out into a baking pan, hardened for 24 hours and turned out on your work table, great results can be achieved using dry paper and non-toxic, water-soluble inks, paints and dyes. Paint is applied to the gelatin plate using brushes, sponges
and/ or brayers (rollers) to build up a design. Stencils, stamps and anything with texture can be utilized to create pattern and composition. When you are done composing, dry paper is placed on top of the gelatin plate, and the design is transferred by rubbing your hands gently over the back of the paper. After printing, remnants of the design still cling to the plate, and sometimes a second “ghost” print can be pulled. Or the plate can be washed clean with cool water and a sponge.

I learned to gelatin print at Haystack School of Crafts in Maine. Francis Merritt, Haystack’s founding director, invented this technique in the 1970s. I love its simplicity, versatility, use of inexpensive household materials, and light touch of hands rather than requiring an expensive mechanical printing press.

Aug-Sept art exhibit features work by Jay Rancourt
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