Saturday, December 31, 2011

Monoprinting with the GELLI Plate

I've been experimenting with gelatin monoprinting for a couple of years, and posted about it in 2010.  Since I also teach that class locally, I was curious when the new GELLI printing plate came onto the market last spring.  At first, I was adamant about sticking to my "homemade" method and not caving in to the idea of needing to buy the latest and greatest gadget. That was until I went to class with only enough prepared gelatin for my expected class of  7 . . . that had increased to 9 students.
I bought it!  It works!
I've reconsidered, and now the class supply list includes a GELLI printing plate for each student!  The benefits:  I no longer have to mix up three large pans of gelatin the night before class. No more spilled and hardened gelatin in my refrigerator.  There's no waste, since this new product lasts indefinitely.  Each student brings their own printing plate to class.  And it answers the question once posed to me by a very strict vegan:  What's the alternative to using Knox gelatin, which contains animal products?   The GELLI plate!

However, I've noticed one interesting phenomenon when printing on fabric with this new surface.  I was using acrylic paint, so I mixed textile medium with it.  When I rolled that onto the plate with my brayer, the paint mixture immediately began to separate, resulting in this background texture:
My first GELLI print on fabric, with snow? leaves?
A second attempt with straight acrylic paint gave me a solid-covered background.  So the textile medium does a little random dance on the GELLI surface, which is pretty cool!
I might (no, I WILL) miss the cracks and gouges that come with using real gelatin.  They produced some interesting, organic lines on the printed fabric.  And I'll miss the cool feeling of the sheets of gelatin in my hands.  Yes, I liked that!
Painted GELATIN plate with an interesting crack.
And now we're here at the end of 2011.  I feel pretty good about this year's theme word, FOCUS.  I got better at it.  The theme for 2012 is MAINTAIN MOMENTUM.  How about yours?   Please leave a comment and share your mantra (if you have one) for the new year.  Thanks for following along with me, and I'll see you next year!

1 comment:

  1. I just got my Gelli plate today. my first paint application also seperated into bubbles, and I did NOT use textile medium. I think it was just that it was the first print. They say it exudes a little mineral oil. I love it!! check out my prints on