Thursday, February 02, 2012

Gelli plate printing

Several months ago I won a 6" x 6" Gelli printing plate from fellow blogger, Judy Carpenter. I have been looking forward to trying it out, but couldn't seem to get to it until today. Neat idea and easy to use.

Here is my setup:

Gelli plate at left. It is a smooth piece of something (plastic, silicone, ??) that has the feel of those gelli window decal things. Firm rubber brayer, acrylic plate for rolling paint out on and paint. I used inexpensive acrylic paints for experimenting.

Squeeze some paint out on the acrylic palette and roll it out with the brayer until it is mixed as wanted. Then roll a thin layer of paint onto the gel plate. Make marks in paint, then lay a piece of fabric or paper face down on the plate and smooth it carefully so it will pick up the paint from the plate.

I crumpled up a piece of paper, opened it up and carefully pressed it into the paint here. This is the resulting print:
For another I used a bamboo skewer whose point I had blunted with sandpaper, and drew into the paint on the plate.

I think the most interesting and successful prints were made using some of my collection of Indonesian printing blocks, pressed into the paint.

This one was pretty boring, so I printed over it.

The new print is the one at the top of the blog.

These are the prints. Some were pretty exciting, some were so-so and some are not at all interesting. Those might get a second round one of these days.

I think this was my favorite.

I'm not sure how I will use these, but it is always good to have a new technique in my back pocket.


  1. Interesting to see the wood blocks used this way. I had a class with Jane LaFazio and posted about it at
    There was a lot of experimenting going on - might be of interest.

  2. I love the results that you achieved with the wood blocks. I am amazed at the detail that remained. Wishing you a fun filled weekend.

  3. Reading the above comments - I was thinking of this like wood block printing too (as opposed to putting the paint directly on the fabric), but I guess really it is mono-printing - each one different.

    Thanks for the look over your shoulder. I was thinking of it all the way back to the car yesterday after work (15 min walk). That sounds like fun. It was a 'happy' after a stressful day.

  4. This looks really good, almost reminds me of the flags found in Tibet around the Himalayas. Props!