Thursday, October 8, 2015

Gelli "PLAY?"

By now, I'm sure many of you who follow my blog know how much I dislike my Gelli Plate, a gift I asked for three years in a row, and finally bought for my Christmas present two Christmas' ago.  The first time I used it, I took it to my friend Kathy's to play with it.  It wasn't fun then, and we were both disappointed with it.

The second time I played with it, there was a circle that went through to both sides, so no matter which side I used, the circle was imprinted on the plate and still there.  You can see it, because it's dark in the photo, and it left marks on anything I made.  When I ran my hand over the Gelli, I could feel how it was raised, too.

This is how I originally set up my Gelli back in June, and it still looks
pretty much the same today.

Although I added a few things I wanted to work on, 

and changed where the paint was, I was simply tired of walking around this mess every time I wanted to make an assemblage or something else in my basement studio.  You would think I would have spent the summer down here, but this table spread out like it was, kept me from enjoying the cool of the basement.

The bad news was that I had completely forgotten how to use the Gelli plate.  The good news was, after sitting all summer, the Gelli healed itself and the circle that went completely through the Gelli is no longer there.  I can't explain it any more than I can explain how the raised circle got there in the first place.

Moving on, I decided to combine some pearl glaze with turquoise paint.  But the paint was so incredibly old and nearly hard, I had trouble with it. 

After about two hours of fighting with the paint and glaze, this is what I got.  I have NO idea why the color is so horribly wrong here, but no amount of adjusting in PS helped.  Not much to show for all that work I did.

On Day 2, the paint was finally dry on the bags, and I was ready to try again.  This time I remembered I needed water to clean my brayer, a spritzer of water to clean the Gelli, and the last of my baby wipes.  I have other WIPES, but they are not the same as baby wipes, which are much thicker and have a cloth feel to them.

A favorite color combination is red and purple.  I've loved this color combination since I was in high school and found fabric that my grandmother turned into a blouse I wore forever.  I didn't realize the red was going to separate, though.  I actually started out with a mess on my hands.

These were the only two colors I used and it took me about three hours

to create these.  Somehow, I don't think I have the concept of the Gelli down very well, even though I watched a couple of videos after the disastrous effects of Day 1.

Day 3 gave me these.  Thankfully, I won't be printing on any more of the paper bags, which were actually something I drew on from two of my internet friends.  Quite some time ago, Corrine used paper bags with her Gelli.  Although I couldn't find the link on her blog (she has a LOT of Gelli and Stencil Girl posts), I remembered the concept and even commented that I might have to try that some day.  Also, some of you might remember the lovely bag I got from Patty when she sent me a gift in the bag earlier this summer.  Since I thought it was such a great idea, I tried to create some of these bags using stencils Corrine sent me, and a plastic doily from the thrift store.

I hope to make a few things using the Gelli and some of my bed sheets before I put this plate and the other goodies attached to it, away.  After all, it took nearly a day to get everything originally set up, so tearing it down will be like pulling teeth.  However, I want to make some Christmas gifts, so I need the space for assemblages, and the Gelli takes up a lot of dedicated space.

Thanks for looking.  No, I don't like the Gelli much better than before, but at least I'm glad it healed itself.  Again, I appreciate all your wonderful comments, too.

22 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

That was an interesting read, and what a wondrous healing of your gelli plate. I have a home-made one, and have not used it much because I never really liked what I made with it. I find printing with a brayer and a glass plate easier, but haven't done much of that lately either. Hope you manage to get your bags finished, perhaps you can combine the backgrounds with some stamping and/or painting. Whatever, hope you have some fun. Have a great day, hugs, Valerie

die amelie said...

Oh, I remember I struggled too when I first used my Gelli plate and it took several "sessions" to find out what worked best for me. I found that the cheapest acrylic paints work best for this as with some of the others I only managed to glue my print to the

Also adding some drying time extender helped a lot with some techniques as it gives the acrylic paint more open time to add some texture with tools or to put some masks in place properly.

Going for brighter colours with more contrast and doing more layers instead of trying to create the "one" print with the first attempt was definitely a much better now when I use my Gelli plate I always prepare to produce a lot of scrap and some really cool prints alongside with it.

So using cheaper paper and paints has helped free me and putting off any "good results" pressure. Please, don't give up! You will find that if you give yourself the time to find out what works best for you, it can really be very rewarding!

Hope this helps!!!!!
Claudia x

Darla said...

I haven't used a Gelli plate and doubt I will ever buy one. I am confident that at some point - when you decide to get it out again - you will master it. You always find a way to make things work.


elle said...

I like my gelli plate. Some days produce better results than others. I have small ones for my grand kiddies. Interestingly enough the youngest (3) kept saying more, more and did wonderfully. The oldest (7) hated to quit and did 'awesome' stuff in his mind. lol My little artist (5) got frustrated. ??? Aren't we all creatively unique!!!

Divers and Sundry said...

It's all Greek to me, but I like your finished product. It's a shame it's such a chore to set up and put away.

Corrine at said...

Fun gears and the like showing up. I agree with Elle, some days it comes out great, others, eh. On the brown bags, light colors might work better, like white bright yellow, pink, light blue, etc. Experimentation is part of the fun. Glad you had a chance to use the stencil stash I sent. xox

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Oh poor Elizabeth!
I can understand you... but it gets better with the practise -
You must now make prints over the first prints and you will love them.

I make prints from time to time..but I don't have the original plate ( far to expensive here in EU)
I take a soft mousepad and pull a plastic jacket around... this is so handy.. because I need nearly no cleaning in between and at the end of the session I throw away the plastic jacket or I collect it -gives a good book-cover maybe in the future..(no cleaning - I hate cleaning - today I had to clean the house .. that is my weekly bad day when it comes to make the big cleaning of the house every week- but must be)

Isn't it great that the plate healed!

pearshapedcrafting said...

Oh Elizabeth! Well done for persevering - I do hope it gets better for you! I don't use mine nearly enough and yet I do love the effects I get! I think Claudia has a point when she says that sometimes using cheap paper takes away the need to get "good results" Have you tried with Inks with your brayer - My friend Sarah showed me this technique and although paler we got good enough results for our journals! Off to caravan for a few days as we are expecting good weather! Have a great weekend! Hugs, Chrisxxx

TwinkleToes2day said...

What a shame, after your yearning for a Gplate and the subsequent disappointment over it. And how very bizarre that it should heal itself!! I don't have a Gplate and probably never will own one. It's great that you persevered and have some interesting results. I look forward to seeing what you make with all your new prints.
Have a lovely, upcoming weekend :D :D

Linda Kunsman said...

Oh dear, Elizabeth you don't know how much I wish I could come over before you put it all away so I can show you how much FUN the plate can truly be!! If you don't like what you've done with some of these put them back on the plate with other colors and stencils- or just add more stamping or stencils on your own. Oh, and I rarely clean off my plate . I let the extra bits of acrylic paint dry and the next time I brayer colors on and print-the leftover bits of previous colors show up and it looks very cool.

Jo Murray said...

Such a shame that you can't come to grips with it. Perhaps you should just 'play' on some 'not so precious' paper before you put it away....perhaps newsprint. One can't expect one's first efforts at anything to be perfect. It took me a while, now I LOVE my Gelli plate.

Monica said...

I think you are to organized and tidy for a Gelli plate. It is a bit like intuitive painting requires wild abandon and try anything. It works well with cheap paints. For we wild and messy types it is a glorious obsession and i want to make a planner out of them this years, well not a real planner a sort of journal .
Hugs monica

505whimsygirl said...

Hi Elizabeth. I never did get on the gelli plate train. Maybe I'm glad I didn't!!! I'm actually going through my craft supplies (have been for a few months now) and downsizing. I need to get rid of some clutter and since I don't have a designated play area it's difficult.

I'm hoping I participate next week!! Can you believe it!!!

I hope things are going well for you. I haven't been visiting anyone for months now and I know that a few WOYWWers have had medical issues.


Rita said...

When I first got my bigger gelli plate I used it for like two pulls but Dagan and Leah were over and they got going and played for a long time. We were using cheap craft paint that was old and the results were not good. Now that I am finally moved and just finished unpacking today--I plan to rest up and playing with the gelli plates is on my list and I bought thinner paints that are new so I am hoping for better results. I think I will have to play for several sessions before I get the hang of it--well, hopefully will get the hang of it. LOL! I'm glad to see I am not the only one who had trouble with it right off the bat. :)

Nancy said...

You've had a struggle with the plate, but have been persistent in giving it a try. Funny how the spot went away. Are you covering the plate surface generously with brayered on paint? Just wondering because the images look lightly printed. Anyway, keep plugging away- you never know, the next session might just knock your socks off!

Carol said...

Ya just have to keep playing and remembering it's really suppose to loose and all mixed up with layers on top of each other. The granddaughters ans I spent two days playing with one 5X7 inch plate and made lots of prints. Then another day we cut some up and made collages out of them. They created some fun pieces to give as gifts this year. Cheaper more fluid paints do work better for some folks.

Krisha said...

From what I understand, you either love it or hate it. Me? I never did buy one......yes, I know that's a shocker. I did make one....hated it!! I would rather make marks with just stuff laying around, brush or scrap the paint on, one layer at a time......or just dump it one and let it run.......haha!

But I will applaud your for giving it an other try

voodoo vixen said...

Agh, I am sure with practice you will achieve some lovely results, and I think you need to pass all those through again with a different layer of colour or something but don't listen to me... I decided from the outset that I would not get on the gelli plate bandwagon and so far I have managed it, I have so many other ways to make a huge mess!! LOL

johanna said...

i brew me a Cup of coffee to make it comfortable in front of the pc, as i wanted to read your gelli experiments.
now i´m through with the first and what can i say? first: the wonder healing is spectacular (as the previous Frustration with the circle surely was high, as These plates are everything but cheap!).
then: i wish i could be playing with you. i really had the first time real fun with the plate at our stamping retreat last year, when we were playing as a Group. quite more inspiring than dabbling along alone. anyway, that won´t help.
in the beginning i looked up a lot of Videos (better than static Posts) - i think gelli plate has an own Website linking to YouTube, or i remember carolyn dube´s Videos also were helpful.
i think one key is to have good paint. not in the way of "expensive", but in the way of "quite fresh": i learned it was frustrating when the paint dryed too fast... such Things. it brings much more fun if you can Play smoothly. and really, i also tried to use up the old paints first, but then i switched to newer ones (cheap, really) and everything went better.

but then: i think all your results will be of good use, too: you can always add to them - even with some more gelli printing;) and for some Backgrounds they will turn out just fine. don´t give up!
now i´m marching on to your next gelli post:)

Halle said...

I was watching gelli print videos yesterday. I know we've talked about me want ing to try this before. I actually purchased some Knox gelatine to give it a try but that's as far as I've gotten.
You are fortunate to have a large drying area for your fun prints. The lack of good space is one thing holding me back.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

I think me + gelli would equal disaster, so I think I'll stay away from both the purchased and homemade ones. It is good that you gave it another try and that it healed itself--who knew?

Lorraina said...

Hi, I just sort of surfed in to your blog whilst looking for Gelli ideas and read of your difficulties which may be solved by now but i'll go first i had similar problems and my prints were such a disappointment. I even joined a Facebook gelli group and posted there without any good results. So I tried using it once every 4 months or so for a couple years and my prints were consistantly terrible. One day I bought a new brayer and BINGO my prints suddenly had promise. By then I had already gone through the gamut of trying many variations of cheap and expensive paints and papers. Went back to youtube and really studied what was going on. Many seemed very carefree and sloppy with poor braying, even a lot of empty spaces and they were either frantically fast or way too slow doing the exact same thing over and over. They churned out hundreds of prints that were not my idea of good prints. I don't mind fixing a little something here or there but I don't want to spend hours fixing a gelli print that was poorly or sloppily executed.One persons videos was the opposite and she was really way too picky for my taste. So I was on my own to figure it out by trying everything I could think of. Conclusion: newsprint; the plain kind is good but also can be found in colors at Michaels. I started by using the comic and crossword and horoscope sections of my daily newspaper and to this day they're some of my best prints. Patterned or/and colored tissue and napkins win over the best cardstock.Golden paints are super but pricey so I use Liquitex, Craftsmart, Americana and the like. Most of my best work has at least 2 layers. Spend a day pulling the best colored bckgrnds you can and the next day you'll want to get out your stencils to finish them off on your gelli plate. Try for quality on each and every one rather than billions of pieces of junque. You will be amazed! I've uploaded some on my daily art blog which have also been given a little Photoshop help. My next project is cutting stencils from manila folders because I can no longer make glue gun stencils because I went hog wild and now have "glue gun thumb" ooooo it hurts, but sure makes awesome stencils. Hope my rambling response helps. I hope you stick with Gelli printing, it's a very rewarding form of art.