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Gelli Making Day 2

When I got up this morning I could hardly wait to check how my Gelli making has turned out. They seemed to be set last night but I resisted the impulse to muck with them before I went to bed.

Unveiling time. Yahoo!

They were set but feeling sort of sticky on the surface, much like kids silly putty.

You’ll need to run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the edge. Turn the pan over propped on a clean piece of paper and wiggle a corner of the Gelli a bit to start it separating from the bottom of the pan and onto the paper.

Use knife to loosen the gelli from the edge of pan

Glycerin Gelli out of the pan showing bottom side
Gelli (glycerin only) showing foam on surface

I started with the one that is made with glycerin only. Beauty! The bubbles are still on the top surface but the bottom is lovely and smooth. I decided not to melt the surface again to get rid of the bubbles and just see what texture they might contribute if I use that side. It may be that the bubbles fill with paint and get clogged up, but this is an experiment. It feels lovely and quite solid in a wiggly sort of way. I measured the depth – 2 cm. – so a bit more than ¾ inch thick.

Floppy Gelli (using alcohol) out of pan

The one made using alcohol as well as glycerin was not as thick. Only ½ inch – so I goofed there. When it was removed from the pan it wanted to stretch and as a result split in from the edges in several places where the knife had nicked the edges. Also, as I was admiring my creation and had it draped over my hand, it split further where it was bent. Interesting though – it had quite a tough skin on the bottom with the top being softer. See the photo. Sort of like the Jello that lanquished at the back of the frig for a duration longer than I’d like to admit knowing about.

Because of the splits, I trimmed the edges so that I ended up with a block about 4 x 6 inches and will melt the remainder to make another small one and see what happens when I do that.

I think that it would both cut better and ease from the pan if I heated the knife. I’ll try that with the reconstituted one. Oh – and I am going to put it in a styrofoam meat tray (they can be washed in the top rack of the dishwasher) to see if they would work as containers. Sure would be handy if they do.

Do over with the bits.

Edges that I cut off back in pan

I tossed all of the bits from around the edges of both Gellies that I had scraped from the edges of the containers and the parts that I had trimmed from the split Gelli containing alcohol, and dumped the lot into the Pyrex measuring cup. I nuked it on high for about 30 seconds. Voila! All melted.

I gave it a bit of a stir to make sure that it had completely dissolved and poured it into a 6 inch square recycled Styrofoam meat tray that was better than an inch deep, filling it almost to the top, and popped it back into the frig to set.

And here we have it.

This time I decided just to wiggle the edges with my fingers and not use a knife to loosen the Gelli from the container, which I hoped would keep it from splitting where the knife marred the edges. That worked better, but because the container is opaque, it was harder to tell whether or not it was splitting when coming away from the container. A small corner was damaged but altogether it was a success.

The Gelli is firmer than the original one with alcohol (maybe because I had bits from the all glycerin one added to the mix, or maybe because some of the alcohol would have evaporated, causing the mix to have a greater proportion of the glycerin to alcohol, or because it was thicker, or all three).

I may try another one later and still use some alcohol (but not half and half with the glycerin) since the alcohol is less expensive. However, I sure don’t like the smell of the alcohol in the refrigerator, which still lingers. I’m not sure that the cost difference is worth it.

Altogether I made 3 usable Gellies – sizes 6×6, 4×6, and about 8×8 for approximately $22.00 Had I used all glycerin the cost difference would only have been $3 or $4 total.

Now I’d like to try working with the two types to see which one I prefer , and how each one cleans.

Next trick is to have some fun and try them out, so I’m off to the studio to clear a space and play.

Check back for updates on my progress.

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