Friday, October 9, 2015

Gelli "PLAY?" (the end)

So glad you were able to join me for three previous days of play with my Gelli.  I decided to try something a bit different for Day 4.

After cleaning the plate a bit the day before, I decided to use some of the pearl glaze for my first layer.

I also brought out some yellow and crimson acrylic paint, but I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.

I've always said I was brayer challenged, and this confirms it.  I even bought this new brayer a year ago, but it doesn't work any better than the first one I bought.  You can see that even after lots of rolling the glaze back and fourth, fourth and back, I still can't make it even.  The evidence is on the brayer itself, seen on the right side of the photo.

So I gave up and made some squiggle marks on the plate using a soft tool I had been given years ago.  Don't confuse these marks with Squiggles, who is not allowed in the basement, but is sleeping at my feet in the office as I type this post.

The crimson came out OK, after all, I had used it the day before.  But the yellow was too dry to use. It made sense since I've had that particular tube since the late 1980s.  So, I went with the newer yellow, instead.

About 30 minutes later, this was all I had to show for this very disappointing technique I thought would produce some favorable results.  Not to worry, though.  You'll see these either in my Journal 52 or 7 Continents spreads.  It hasn't been a waste of time, at least.

The next thing I did was brayer yellow on the Gelli and pulled one print.  Then, before the yellow was totally gone, added some maroon and more pearl glaze to the Gelli.

When I was as satisfied as I could be with the coverage, I laid down this gifted piece of wood in the middle of the plate.

I removed the wooden piece

and was basically satisfied with what I saw.  I apologize for the glare, but I'm in a basement and the light is not the best.

After aligning the plate with the yellow pull as best I could, I pulled this print.  I was over the moon with happiness, because I knew I could work with this!  It was wonderful, and reminded me of a wood cut.

One decent print and a bunch of rejects meant I was finished.  Done.  Through.  Ready to quit.

It was now time to clean and put everything away.  Contrary to the Gelli web site, water doesn't remove everything, and neither do wipes.  The Gelli site must not be as anal precise as I am.  After all, this plate cost an arm and a leg (exactly 2/3) of my yearly art budget, so I want to make sure I put it away clean.

I had purchased the baby oil specifically for cleaning the plate, so that's what I did.  You might be able to see how much more residual paint I got off the plate with the baby oil.

Next it was time to put everything away, sorting items that would return to the craft room on the main floor of the house and the ones that would stay in the basement.  All this paper, as well as the plastic doily would go upstairs.  The paper on the bottom is 12 X 12 inch scrapbook paper that is cardstock weight.  Since it's white, I  can turn it into anything I want to make.  The paper above it is old printer paper that has been around since daisy wheel and dot matrix printers were in vogue.  It's also white, so I'll be doing a few things with it, too.  But for now, I'll be concentrating on cleaning this basement studio, since this is where I've brought most of the items Sally gave my after I cleaned her garage.

In yesterday's post I mentioned there was a big difference in baby wipes and wet wipes.  I decided to show them side by side, but you may not be able to see the difference even though they look so much different through my camera's lens.

The wet wipes on the left have texture and are thin.  I could even see the green mat through the wet wipe.  The baby wipes on the right are much thicker, have no raised texture, and feel like cloth.  I have other wipes that I used to get free at the grocery store (seems they stopped having them at the front of the store lately) that feel like they have polyester in them.

Although wipes all work the same, the way you treat them when you recycle them is important.  For example, you can't iron wet wipes and the ones that feel like polyester melt under your iron.  Baby wipes can be ironed.

Reasons I don't like the Gelli:

1.  You have to be too careful with it.  It costs way too much and it scares me.

2.  It's hard to clean, regardless what other sites believe.

3.  My brayer doesn't work well with it.

4.  It's squishy.  Most sites tell you that's a plus, but I find it hard to pull prints from it.

I'll be back at some point next week with two alternatives to the Gelli that don't scare me.  One is an alternative I have used forever to make monoprints, and one Susi told me about in yesterday's comments about how she makes prints.

For now, thanks for visiting, and thanks for looking.  In between taking care of Sally who just had emergency surgery to have a new pacemaker installed, I'll be making quick art. I appreciate your comments, even when I'm slow in responding.

16 thoughtful remarks:

froebelsternchen Susi said...

I think you got some super results this time and I also think you should give not up! O.k. - I totally agree with you that it makes mess....some artists are happy when they make mess.. I am not so happy .. I even didn't like to make me messy in the sandbox as I was a
I am sorry that you are unhappy with your Gelli Plate! You were in a dream from me this morning.. even I don't know how you look like.... crazy, isn't it?? We had a kind of crafters meeting! I am soo crazy!
I will take photos from my plasticjacketprinting-version and the prints next time I do this- I hope I can do it.You are a heroine!
You are so good in makeing even photos of the process you don't like!
That's SUPER!
Happy weekend - finger crossed for Sally's surgery!

Viktoria Berg said...

Hope Sally gets well soon, emergency anything is always scary... :-(

I think the whole gelli process looks delightfully messy, but I don´t really understand it. It certainly will not fit in a pocket, so I don´t think it´s for me. ;-) I think you are getting some fun results.

johanna said...

now i first had to go back to the previous post to read susi´s comment [i usually do not read all the comments of others, so do not wonder if i repeat some things...]. well, i never tried the Mousepad monoprinting, but might be okay.
anyway 2 more Cents to the gelli: i also felt a bit strange with it in the beginning, but now i quite like it.
the costs: too high, definitely. but once bought, Forget about it, the Money is gone anyway. for me it was the question to make "natural" gelli plates in the kitchen myself, but that was not my dream.
try not to become too picky with the cleaning Thing (if you can). actually for me the best Thing to clean it at the end of a session is to cover it with the clear tape (the broad stripes that you take for tape Transfers, the ones you Close parcels with). tearing away the tapes usually takes away everything that is resting on the surface of the plate. i don´t mind if there is a Little pink shine etc "inside", actually i would be afraid to destroy the material by "overcleaning" it. not sure if i am right with this.
and maybe you should ask santa for a good new brayer (not too thin in width).
and not to Forget: your Silhouette print turned out fab!! and the rest will be great for Backgrounds anyway. nothing is wasted.
take a break and try it some day again. wish you more joy with it!
next week i will try it on Cloth (at our stamping retreat), and i hope to be not too frustrated also... will Report...
have a great Weekend.
(second Cup of coffee emptied;))

Valerie-Jael said...

Interesting to read your experiences, and the print with the oval flower frame turned out really well. Glad you managed to get everything clean and tidy when it was done, that was a lot of work. I don't make many prints these days, but when I do I just use my glass plate, because it's easy to clean and din't cost anything. Have a lovely day, hugs, Valerie

Darla said...

My wishes for Sally to have a rapid recovery.

I do like the oval piece but a gelli plate looks like a lot of work. Look forward to the other ways of printing you are going to share with us.

Linda Kunsman said...

I love the results you achieved using that beautiful wood piece Elizabeth! So glad you didn't give up the fight:) Best wishes to Sally.

fairyrocks said...

Interesting results. It seems like you are doing everything right. I even tried to make my own Gelli, before I committed half the DH salary to buying one. It was a disaster. {Should have just used Vodka and made Jello shooters} After buying the real deal I ended up with results similar to yours.I will try again, I am rather determined too. Now to find where I stashed it after I scrubbed it last....Keep smiling and creating. I appreciate an honest tutorial.

Corrine at said...

Sorry you are having such an unhappy time with it. What I have learned. Cheap craft paint works the best. Bigger stencils work better than those with "fussy" cut outs. I never clean mine but let the bits get pulled off on the next run which creates great texture. I like the second ghost type print better. Usually I try and pull several prints and mist with water in between. Don't spread the paint too heavy, a thin coat works better. Sometimes I pull a print off the stencil itself using the side covered in paint and my hands to push the paper down. One the plate itself, pat the paper gently that may help you get cleaner prints. I also print over what I have printed to get overall prints in different colors using the same stencil.
Dark colors as a background print then white over for contrast if you want that effect. Hope you try again. It is not an exact science..............xox

Meggymay said...

Well done for keeping on experimenting, todays results look great and the one with central detail is fantastic. Gelli plates don't seem as popular as when they first arrived on the craft scene, you either love them or hate them.
Yvonne x

Nancy said...

That wood piece you used as a stencil is so pretty. I'll look forward to learning about your alternatives. There's no need to love the plate if you can achieve the results you're after in another way. We await!

Halle said...

The wood piece made a really cool print. Maybe adding layers of color onto already gelli printed pieces. IT would be a multi day process of course but perhaps some blues or greens over top of the red and yellow. Could be an interesting effect.

Carol said...

Your new prints look great!!! Some great backgrounds and that print form the wood piece is fantastic. The more you work with it the better everything gets. If you want I can give you a recipe for homemade Gelli Plates and you can make a smaller one that may be easier to work with for you :) Very easy to make.

Krisha said...

So sorry to hear Sally had to have emergency treatment. Hope things go well for her and she recovers quickly.

I LOVE the print where you used the wood piece.

~*~Patty S said...

Monoprinting on fabric is one of my favorite things.
Your oval print turned out wonderfully.
Breaking in anything new that has cost a bit of $ always take a little time (like the first scratch or dent in a new car) ... any dings or marks on the gelli would just add interest and character including having some leftover paint from previous printing.
I still have my homemade gelli in the fridge (thanks to your reheating advice!) It has shrunk considerably over time from sheet cake size to more like 5x7 size hah.
Anxious to see your other experiments.

pearshapedcrafting said...

I guessed that my (fairly ) long comment the other day hadn't made it before the connection went! I think your results are great but if you are not enjoying using it that really means nothing! I was lucky enough to attend one of Andy Skinner's workshops as well as learning a lot from my friend Sarah! Do you know anyone else with a gelli that you could get together with? Trying to catch up! Chrisx

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Sometimes even not very expensive art supplies intimidate me!I know that sounds ridiculous, but I hate to waste anything. I think that is what keeps me from working freely.

Sorry to hear about Sally's emergency surgery. I know or at least knew a lot about pacemakers as I worked for a Thoracic surgeon for 15 years. I used to test them when patient's came to the office.