Jello Terrazzo

Jello Terrazzo

A creative tangent taken while trying to work out some techniques for a shoot with a collaborator. I have wanted to experiment with jello because of the easy accessibility, the low cost and the ubiquitous nature in our lives. Everyone has memories of eating copious amounts of jello as a kid.

I have a vintage jello recipe book with wild recipes and presentations that verge on the verge of being “art.” These dishes become the true centerpiece of the tablescape. I wanted to make something that would similarly take jello out of the “food” category and into the realm of a beauty and object. The obsession with terrazzo made this the perfect texture to attempt to recreate due to its recent spike in popularity.

Terrazzo surfaces were all around me when I lived in Italy which then was followed by the boom of its use on all surfaces including countertops and walls. The colors and materials within it changed from traditional to quirky. It’s now a surface you would sit and travel across with your eyes rather than simply glide over with your feet.

To start this project, I searched for terrazzo inspiration images and was clued into Concrete Collaborative by a friend. They make beautiful color combinations and I went from there.

When creating the aggregate out of jello, I had to double the gelatin so the smaller pieces would hold their shape. There was also the addition of condensed milk to make the white gelatin pieces. As the colors and textures of the aggregate took shape, the assembly was the next task to take on. I tried both a purposeful and focused stacking of white jello interspersed with colored aggregate as well as a “dump and randomly mix” method. Both had their own pros and cons.

Once the jello was set, slicing was the ultimate surprise to see how the aggregate laid within the mold. This was the most gratifying part of the experience other than the jello coming out cleanly from the mold. Each slice was different and it felt like an adventure as I worked my way slice by slice.

This will be an ongoing project and I will be working my way through different terrazzo inspiration… for now here are some images I shot on my iPhone (and then gave a bit of a Wayne Thibaud edit) after a rainy afternoon of playing with jello.

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