I have had my Gelli Plate for a while but after a disastrous first attempt it had been sitting on my shelf unloved. I felt way out of my comfort zone with this, but so admired the gorgeous results that others were achieving.
I used my large 8 X 10 printing plate for my first trials.
Following the recent show on the Craft Channel this week with the lovely Lesley Wharton from Chocolate Baroque I had to give it another try (Wed 1pm if you want to see the catch up video online). I also looked at a few of the FAB demos from Barbara Grey from Clarity Stamps available on YouTube.
I dug out a load of my cheap cartridge sketching paper and went for it. Previously I had used some of my very old tube acrylic paints that were thick and gloopy. They really didn’t spread well and I now realise that I applied them far too thickly too. This time I used more fluid acrylics from Martha Stewart and Folk Art (in squeezy bottles). My cheap acrylics in big squeezy tubes from the £1 shop also worked beautifully.
This is my first journey with the Gelli Plate – both terrifying and magical – tee hee.
A couple of things to consider before starting:
You will need a soft Brayer (Speedball) for spreading the paint. You will also need a selection of items to create texture and remove areas of paint etc. I started with a selection of stencils (Trellis, Butterfly, Leaf and Floral) and some lovely texture stamps (Texture Fragments and Abstract Fragments from Chocolate Baroque).
Have plenty of cheap paper to hand and clear a bit of space for laying out lots of sheets to dry. The advantage of acrylics is that they do dry quickly. Waste paper is also needed for rolling off waste paint from the Brayer and for stamping the paint lifted off the plate. Keep hold of these waste sheets as they make gorgeous backgrounds.
Don’t expect to get controlled or repeatable results – just relax and go for it.
My first set of prints – not comfortable with this
I stencilled paint through a fern stencil onto the plate and let it dry. Then I brayered a layer of blue paint and lifted off areas with a texture stamp. The wet layer lifts off the first dry layer with the print. A nice textured background print to use on my cards.
This time I started with a blue layer of paint, lifted areas with texture stamps, left to dry, then applied cream and yellow paint to lift the print. Another nice background paper. The blue splodges are where I applied the paint a bit too thickly.
This sheet is the waste clean up paper that I used to clean my brayer and stamp off paint from my plate. I really rather like this sheet – more than my Gelli prints! These sheets make a nice set of backgrounds for my projects but not overly exciting.
Oooh – keep going Anne (very scary – definitely way out of my comfort zone).
Second set of prints – getting more exciting
This time I applied a green and blue mix and overlaid a floral stencil. I then stamped into the flowers with a texture stamp to lift some of the wet paint and left to dry. I used my hair dryer on a cold setting to help speed up the drying. DO NOT use a heat gun or hot hair dryer.
The paint under the stencil stays wet. I lifted the stencil and quickly took a print. I was amazed. The textured positive of the stencil remained on the plate (dry), and the wet paint under the stencil printed. Getting excited now.
You can just see in the background the positive flowers that were left on the plate from the previous print. I continued with a few layers and different stencils to come up with this one.
More play with the floral stencil and texture stamps
I first created a textured blue layer of paint and let it dry. Then a layer of pale yellow was laid and the floral stencil overlaid and left to dry. I removed the stencil and lifted the wet layer (under the stencil) onto a waste clean up sheet (orange). Woohoo love it.
I then added orange paint to the plate over the dried floral layer, lifted some of the paint with a stamp, and printed. Definitely beginning to love this.
Trying acetate and mirror card
I wondered if I could print onto acetate or shiny mirror card. Well … sort of.
I also wondered if dries clear acrylic medium could be used to lift a dry layer off the plate. Could it be used to give a clear background for printing on metallic or patterned card? Answer NO. Clear medium did not re-activate dried layers. I think that I will try Lesley Wharton’s trick with the clear packing tape.
I got in rather a mess here but did manage to get some prints onto the acetate and mirror board. I also applied some Kristall Gel through the stencil onto the prints to add a bit of texture. Sure that I will use these bits for something. I will need to experiment a bit more with this to see what works. Definitely random!
More floral prints
After my acetate and mirror board experiments (above) my plate was left with a blue mess. I left it in place and continued and loved the result on this print.
This one was printed onto waste clean up paper.
Again I used the waste clean up paper as a background for the print.
Love this set of positive and negative prints.
Keep hold of those waste clean up papers – they make lovely backgrounds. Either on their own or over printed with Gelli prints.
End up with a mess on your plate? Don’t worry. Just carry on with the next set of prints – they can give FAB results.
A few leafy stencil prints
Loving this one – very organic.
Again I printed this one onto the waste clean up paper – nice.
Here is another waste clean up paper. Oooh yummy.
You can see why you need stacks of paper at the ready!
A few trellis stencil prints
Subtle print onto the waste clean up paper.
Some of the bottom layers did not print where I had the paint too thick.
The unprinted areas from the above plate gave lovely texture on this one. The pearlescent orange paint turned into a gorgeous gold when lifted with back teal layer. Ooooh – think this is my favourite!
Love this pretty pastel colourway.
The background on this one was one of my non-exciting prints. Love it now with the distressed green trellis over print.
Again I used a waste clean up paper as a background for this one.
Brimming with ideas.
Well this has been a fabulous journey. Terrifying, disappointing, then exciting and magical.
I only used acrylics and the method of using stencils, adding and drying layers to create sets of positive and negative prints, along with stamps to remove paint and add texture. When you think of all the possibilities it can be overwhelming. If like me you have been too scared to try it out – just go for it. Have a tonne of cheaper paper ready so you don’t feel that you are wasting expensive card if it goes wrong. When it does go wrong just keep going. Some of my best prints came out when I had got in a mess. When you are finished you will have a stash of lovely background papers ready for cards, journals and mixed media projects.
I have so many more things to try and am brimming with ideas. I also need to try out my fabric paints to decorate fabrics for patchwork. The Gelli plate can also be used with other water based media such as Distress Inks – giving lovely subtle backgrounds for stamping. I can’t wait to experiment further.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading my first journey with the Gelli Plate.
Happy Crafting, Anne xxx.