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Gelli Plate Print Making with test results

Well this has been an interesting experiment.

I plopped the Gellies on to a piece of printer paper so that I could use the edges of the paper to line up and justify the edges of the print (loosely speaking).

I used Golden Fluid Acrylics (my favourites) with a few household items for resists, just to try them out. I understand that the less expensive craft paints will work just about as well. Paint was just squeezed onto the plates and spread with a small soft surface brayer. I just used general purpose printer paper to test things and know that print making paper, which is more absorbent, would pick up the paint much better.

Alcohol Glycerin Gelli with test print

The Alcohol/Glycerin trimmed Gelli 4 x 6

It was the least successful. The bottom side had a tougher feeling from that skin that formed on it. The top was quite wiggly. Paint didn’t seem to want to transfer from the plate to the paper very well so the print is a bit of nothing. Maybe it is because of the alcohol in the plate. It still smells.

Reconstituted Gelli with print

Next was the 6 x 6 Gelli moulded in the Styrofoam tray.

It had some alcohol since it was the reconstituted one and because of the sloping edges of the tray, it has a smaller surface on one side than the other.

It took the paint well and transferred ok, but you do have to work quite quickly. Because the edges were thinner when right side up, that posed a bit of a problem since they wanted to droop when you were rubbing the paper to transfer the paint.

Glycerin Gelli with test print

Last was the larger 8x 8 Gelli that had no alcohol in the mixture.

I liked it best. It was smooth on the bottom and had the bubbles on the top so I had the option of using either side, which I did, with very different effects. Loved the bubble texture. What a happy accident. Probably couldn’t duplicate it again if I tried.

I preferred the larger working surface as well.

I did notice with all of them that the bottoms were slightly crepe like even though the glass containers were glossy smooth. The top surface was the smoothest (except for my bubbles).

Before changing colours on the plates I just sprayed them with water before the residue of paint dried and then blotted them with the blue paper shop towels to sop up the water and thinned paint.

Not having tried the manufactured Gelli plates I have nothing to compare these with so can’t comment on how my home made ones compare. I might have to spring for a “real Gelli” next trip to the art supply store to check that out.

Once I have time to think about images that I’d like to work on, I’ll use better quality paper.

Open acrylics would probably work well and give a bit more time to play, as long as you take the time for them to dry properly between printings.

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