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Gelli-Plate Printing

I have been enjoying working with Gelatine printing to produce some cool textures and designs. It is an easy, cheap and fun way to get creative and make some art. Gelatine printing or Gelli-plate printing, is a mono-printing technique that works with a plate made out of glycerine and gelatine. The plate is inked with paints or ink, and impressions are made using stencils and various natural materials. Paper is then laid on top of the plate and an ink impression is pulled off. I have settled on using water-based paints for my printing, however, a lot of Gelli-plate printers use acrylics.

What I love about the process of Gelli-printing, is that it gets my hands dirty, and at the end of it, there is something physical that can be held and admired. This is different from my experience making digital art which begins and ends with equipment. I rarely appreciate a printed version of my digital work.

To learn about the Gelli-printing process, I slected Linda Germain. Her teaching style is clear and her workshops offer a lot of information in a concise way. Also, I love the simplicity and style of her work. In this video, she demonstrates the Gelli-printing process.

Gelli-plates are easily available and fairly cheap to purchase. However you can also make your own. I have both. The commercial plate has a slightly different print quality over the DIY one, but you can make a bigger plate on your own.

A DIY plate is simple to make, but it does take a bit of technique. I had to adjust the recipe by adding more gelatine than was called for. I believe adjustments like this are due to seasonal and environmental differences. For a firmer plate, add more gelatine and for a softer plate, more glycerine. This is something that you figure out once you start making your own plates. My preference is the homemade plate. I like the way it effects the paint after it has been well used.

Here is a DIY video to make your own Gelli-plate.

Also if you sign up at Linda Germain‘s website, she will send you her recipe for plate making. Also she sends great printing ideas and lets you know about her classes and workshops – which I highly recommend.

Here are some examples of my Gelli-prints.

Jamuna Burry

Exploring ideas on creativity through digital art.