I love monoprinting. In the past I have tried different types of mono printing; I have used glass to draw into and press object into, I have used oil based inks, and a printing press using perspex as a printing plate. I found out about the Gelli Printing Plate at the beginning of 2012. I find it a great medium to use and really love the textures it picks up and how easy it is to use.
For more information on the creators of the Gelli plate follow this link.
I love my Gel Printing Plate.
The equipment you need to print with is quite minimal.
• Gel Print Plate
• Perspex Sheet
These photos show the Gel printing plate and the Perspex sheet. You can see how responsive and flexible the plate is, it is great for picking up textures of delicate objects such as feathers and leaves. The Perspex sheet is used to protect the plate and if I am doing prints on top of prints the images will line up. I use the black lines that frame the plate to guide me as to where I need to put the paper.
Brayers are used to apply the paint to the Gel printing plate and for rollering textures into the paint. I have three types – A soft roller, a hard roller and a small soft roller.
I use various paints each type/consistency reacts differently. The paints I enjoy using are Liquitex, they are Heavy Body Artist Acrylic Paint, they have a thick consistency for traditional art techniques using brushes or knives, as well as for experimental, mixed media, collage and printmaking applications.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.” -Albert Einstein
If you use your imagination for mono printing your prints will be very varied and interesting.
When it comes to mark-making on the gel plate, you can use various things such as bubble wrap, sequin waste, buttons, rubber stamps, embellishments, fruit nets, dried leaves, stencils, corks and anything that makes a mark. The softness of the Gelli plate picks up the delicate textures amazingly. I have previously used feathers and dried leaves, the print is really clear and it shows all the details.
How to monoprint
First you squeeze the paint out onto the plate; a little goes a long way. So a little blob is enough.
You then gently roll out the paint with the soft brayer.
Make sure that the paint is spread out evenly.
You just need a thin coating of paint on the plate.
This is a wooden embellishment that I discovered in the art shop, as soon as I saw them I thought they would be great to use on my Gelli plate. I am always on the lookout for interesting textures and things to use on my plate. To use it I stuck it to a cork using a glue stick> I was very pleased with the marks it made.
This photo shows me adding textures and marks to the printing plate. Here I am using taffeta tied in a bunch, I used my small roller to press the taffeta into the plate.
This is the plate after I have made all the marks, stamping, and rollered onto the plate.
Here I have put the paper over the plate and gently pressed down and gave it a rub. The print is then transferred from the plate onto the paper.
This is the print that I produced. You can see all the textures that have been made from the various things that I used for example; the circles were from a bottle top, the thin lines were from matchstick stuck onto card, the windmill shape at the bottom is a hand carved stamp that I made and the blocks at the side are from an eraser.
Once you have made a print it needs some where to dry, this is the drying line that I have made to hand my prints; it can hold up to 20 prints at a time.