This past weekend I took a class at Life's Memories & More in Palmer, MA on the Gel Printing Plate (or "gelli plate.") The class was taught by local mixed media artist Jane Jones of Plain Jane Scraps. I had never worked with a gelli plate before, but, I love learning new things and being able to "try BEFORE you buy" - to see if I actually enjoy the product and (more importantly) would USE it! I've seen these plates in stores and demonstrated at rubberstamp shows, but, I didn't really know anything about them, nor had taken the time to properly learn..
What is a Gel Printing Plate?
It's a product made by Gelli Arts for monoprinting (creating unique individual - mono or one - prints). Essentially, it's a big squishy rectangle of a gelatin-like substance. As you can see from the packaging below, it's advertised as a method of creating monoprints without a press.
Just to give you an idea of what a gelli plate looks like when you take it out of the package:
Yup, all wiggly and smooshy and pliable and everything you thought it's name would be!
Here is a basic Gelli Plate tutorial from Gelli Arts, the original creator the Gelli Plate. This website is a great resource if you have additional questions about the Gelli Plate.
Step 1: Pick Your Colors
I chose Bright Blue and Turquoise Craft Smart Acrylic Paint. You first put a couple drops of paint onto the gelli plate (for reference I used an 8 x 10" plate):
Step 2: Brayer
Brayer your gelli plate and smoosh those paints around. Yes, "smoosh" is the very technical artsy-fartsy term!
Oooh, SOooo pretty! And SOoooo messy! My anxiety is beginning to rise. . . I can see blue E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E!
Step 3: Stencil
Place a stencil (or bubble wrap, toilet paper roll, foam stamp - insert whatever medium you want to use) onto the paint to add texture and/or pattern:
Then brayer over the stencil:
Step 4: Remove Stencil
Step 5: Add Paper
Place your paper (whether cardstock, journal pages, watercolor paper, magazine or book pages) over the imprint and press firmly making sure you have reached all edges to begin the transfer:
Step 6: Remove Paper
Starting at one corner of the paper - slowly peel back the paper to reveal the print:
Step 7: Let Dry
Remembered how I mentioned the mess earlier?
Even my Baby Wipes needed Baby Wipes! *Just a note that while we mainly used acrylic paints in class, we also played around with distress inks, oxide inks and watercolor sprays.
Here are some of my final pieces from the class:
Looks like fun, right!?
While it was a fun class and Jane was an excellent teacher, I have learned that the gelli plate is not "my thing" for a few reasons:
1. It is just TOO messy!
2. The ability to never re-create the exact same print would drive me insane,
3. The patterns are too abstract for my personal taste.
Do you use a Gelli Plate? What are YOUR thoughts?
Thanks for visiting and have a wonderfully creative day!