Gelli® Plate Printing – First Attempt

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Designing Women were kind enough to allow me to attend a meeting where 2 of the members, Debbi and Linda, were giving a demonstration of printing using acrylic paints with a Gelli® Plate. I was keen to watch their demo because using a Gelli® Plate was next in my investigations into printing at home without a press. Both of them did a fantastic job and answered heaps of questions. Several of the members had a go after the demo as Debbi and Linda had brought lots of extra supplies. I waited until I got home to actually open the Gelli plate I bought recently. I used mostly 110gsm cartridge paper and some 80gsm bond copy paper this time (cheap for a first time effort) but towards the end I tried a couple of pieces of higher quality, thicker watercolour paper which gave lovely results.

This print has too much contrast for my liking so I decided to try overprinting it.

This print has too much contrast for my liking so I decided to try overprinting it.

Debbi and Linda demonstrated heaps of ways to use the Gelli® plate but these 2 photos show that I inked the plate (using acrylic paint), placed circle masks on top of the paint and then took a print. Where the masks were the paper remained white. Then I removed the masks, spritzed the plate with water and took a second print. I really like the way the masks themselves removed some paint so I got a lot of texture in the circles on the second print. Needless to say the masks were turned over and used to create yet another print 🙂 The first print was sort of disappointing, although I could see it had potential for other layers over the top. The layering is the bit I need to “get my head around” to actually produce some art but the second print from this same layout was much more exciting, and I felt that it could be used “as is” without another printing layer but with some embellishing using pencils/pens/paint and/or stitch.

Water was spritzed onto the plate after the first print was taken and then a second print was made.

Water was spritzed onto the plate after the first print was taken and then a second print was made.

In all I think I produced about 29 prints on the first day (and I photographed every single one in my enthusiasm!) so I won’t bore you with all of those. Suffice to say that Gelli® printing is every bit as addictive as it’s reputed to be 🙂

Permission has been granted for me to use the Gelli® trademark.