Things I have learned so far:
- Acrylic Paint: The gelli plate is really only for acrylic paint. I didn't know that and it is a downside for me because I prefer to used thickened dyes and acrylic inks on fabric since it leaves the fabric softer.
- Newspaper: I read the instructions that said not to use dyes or inks with the plate but I did not translate that to mean "don't set the plate on newspaper." Since I had to cover the surface of my table, I used newspaper and set the plate directly on the old newspaper. It picked up the ink! The plate does not transfer the ink when printing but the ink has stained the plate. Here is what my new Gelli Plate looks like now.
- Mixing Colors: Different types of paint will dictate whether you mix your colors on the gelli plate itself or on a palette of some kind and then transfer it to the gelli plate. The thicker the paint, the more likely you will need to mix the paints on the palette.
- Playing Time: Acrylic paint dries very fast. If you want to spend much time creating a design on your plate, you had better use an extender!
- Cleaning up: There are a variety of ways to clean your plate from washing with water, to wiping with baby wipes, to making a last print. Just cover the dry paint on the gelli plate with some fresh paint, cover with a paper for a print, and allow the paper to stay on the plate till the paint is dry. Then pull off the paper. You get a clean plate and a great print. Here is a link that tells you about that last print.
- Layers: Everything looks better with layers. It is a rare print that needs just one layer to be finished. In the words of Judy Sall, "Now I realize that layers are my lifeblood. I need them, crave them, won't stop until I have them. Complex, deliberate, intoxicating layers." Yep, if you don't like what you have made with the gelli plate, it probably needs another layer.
There are some good tutorials already produced so I am not going to recreate wheels. Lisa Chin, one of our visiting artists, has one here-- Lisa Chin.
And here is a video.
Here is a link to my first attempts at paper prints using the gelli. Tomorrow I am trying my first experiments with fabric and will let you know how it goes. Please, feel free to give me some advice. I will check before I start on Tuesday evening.