More Gelli Plate Printing

Yesterday I was determined to drag my husband away from his work.  Having our own business is wonderful but the lines between work and home can blur a little and handling some of the admin side of his job spills over into our weekends.

Anyway, printing is so much more fun with two.

My introduction to Gelli Plate printing was only last week and I posted my initial trials here.  Having bought a plate I was eager to try more.  Back in Project 5, where we did quite a bit of printing, stamping and mark making, I was careful to do some crisp, accurate marks but for this exercise I wanted a more random outcome as  I have a specific project in mind for these pieces.

I used coffee dyed Lokta paper as my base and circles as my theme.  I gathered my equipment – stamps, stencils, mesh fabric and bubble wrap along with a few Cedar Canyon embossing plates.

At the mini workshop last week we used acrylic paints and I was conscious of them drying quite fast so cutting down the time available to create patterning and get the fabric in place in time to get a decent print.  So at home I went back to my favourite Derivan screen-printing inks which dry a little more slowly and have a thick gluggy texture, perfect to impress images into.

Now and again I used a couple of Jo Sonja acrylics and, once they were rolled on the plate with the inks, they worked well.  What did dry fast were the Jacquard Lumiere metallic acrylics and they left flecks on the plate which was a nuisance.

Some of the pieces have a line mark about two-thirds of the way up the print and this is because the Cedar Canyon embossing plates are square and quite a bit shorter than the area I wanted to cover – but I don’t really mind as they are still going to work well for my purpose.

The day was one of trial and error and I learned a lot, especially about the quantity of paint to use and mark-making using different media.  For instance, the plastic embossing sheets can easily slide around on the painted gel plate base making a distorted and more undefined image.  Uneven pressure can result in some interesting effects and over-stamping images can create either good depth or confusion and bad images.

Overall I’m pleased with my random results and every piece will be usable but I definitely haven’t mastered how to get even, sharp, precise images but, using this system, do I want to?  Philippe and I had a bit of fun experimenting with both techniques and colour placement and mixing.

Being such a neat and tidy person perhaps these serendipitous results are just what I need to free me up a bit.


About Claire B

I am a passionate printmaker, paper maker and book artist. I'm a 'forever' student and frequently attend courses and workshops to extend and improve my creative skills.
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