|A page from Kruchonykh's Myatezh I (Mutiny I) 1920 |
created with hectography.
I found a very helpful youtube video outlining the process. I would call it a marriage of carbon paper and Jell-o with a process similar to lithography minus the gum arabic. Since the materials needed are fairly household and the process fairly easy it became the print method of choice for the underground, not to mention it was also easy to destroy without leaving any evidence of insurrection. Besides Prisoners-of-War, it was also well suited for the classroom and many test papers or school newsletters were printed using hectography. All a school teacher needed was a pan of gelatin beside her desk and her classroom was instantly fitted with a copy machine before copy machines were invented.
Hectography may be obsolete, but it is not gone from this world. Tattoo parlors still use hectographic pencils to sketch their designs and then transfer it onto skin. One of the most exciting uses of modern hectography I found are printmakers using the gelatin plate to make monoprints. Linda Germain has a wonderful youtube video showing how easily the ink is released from the gelatin to the paper with just the gentle pressure of ones hands. She also has extensive gelatin printing tips on her website.
Well, I know what I'm doing the next time I'm in the mood for Jell-o.
|Photo of Shelly Thorstensen's hectograph printing demonstration from Theresa Haberkorn's blog.|