Back in June I was at Michaels looking for a birthday present for a friend of Kate's. I flipped through a book on mixed-media and ran across a mention of the Gelli Plate--a strange and new device that I had not previously heard of. I was intrigued enough to come home and watch some videos about it, and immediately decided that I neeeeeded to get one of these. (The big one, of course). I was expecting some money from the pencil portraits that I had just finished, so I mentally earmarked it for printmaking supplies. (Because who doesn't need more art supplies, right?)
When I got my plate it was a while before I had a chance to play with it. But the day after the kids went back to school I had a big chunk of time, so I cleared off the table and threw down the drop cloth, and Anne Marie came over and played with me. (She's my visiting teacher. Our visits frequently involve a craft project of one kind or another.) We had a blast, and made a big mess, and Doug made us lunch (which we ate at our little Korean table in the living room).
Not having any idea what we were doing, it was mostly a lot of playing around with color and texture and seeing how it turned out.
I made some stamps ahead of time with craft foam, and we used those a lot.
Draw design on craft foam, cut out, glue to another sheet of foam. The small stamp is made from the negative pieces of the big one.
We got some neat effects with some ferns and weeds that I collected from the yard. If you roll some paint onto the plate, put the leaves down, and then use a scrap sheet of paper to pull off the paint around the leaves, then when you take the leaves off you've got cool leaf prints underneath. (There's also a little dragon stencil that Anne Marie cut out of Tyvek.)
The negative image looks pretty cool too. (The blue was from an earlier print.)
We tried making some sea creature stencils, too. I'll have to do this again with multiple layers and see how it goes.
Not long after that I got Kate to do some Gelli Printing with me, when we had the day off for Labor Day. I figured she would get a kick out of it. (Mom has fun toys!)
Kate drew the dragon on the plate with a Q-tip.
I made an owl stencil that I wanted to try out, and also some texture pieces with hot glue on non-stick foil. (Non-stick... very important. Tried it with regular foil first and the pieces wouldn't peel off!)
Cat by Kate.
She painted this dragon on the plate and we pulled a print. There was a little bit of dried paint underneath that came off in the green, and gave it some interesting variation.
I tried something a little more complicated for a friend's birthday. I made some stamps and some stencils, and had it all planned out, but getting it to look right turned out to be more tricky than I had anticipated!
I think I went through about a dozen sheets of paper before I got one that I liked.
And of course all the stencils have to be re-positioned every time. (Tyvek is sturdy! And washable.)
Here's the finished product! (I painted the little words on after printing.) It was hard to get the values right in the photo, but that's pretty much what it looked like.
I have lots of other things that I want to try! The Gelli Plate does take a little getting used to, and figuring out the quirks, but I've seen some really gorgeous things that people have done with it. And messing around with paint is always fun!