What’s a gelli-print!? It’s a super soft, print making ‘plate’ that has quite a bit of flexibility. Yes, you can buy premade “Gelli Plates.” I chose not, today. I wanted to make a DIY! To create it from things in my kitchen.
“Wow, what fun! Creative, imaginative. Liberating.” And, “I feel like a kid Again!” These were some of the thoughts that sped through my mind as I was busy mixing and printing my very colourful gelli prints.
DIY Gelli Print Plate: Glycerine and Gelatine
DIY Gelli Plate Recipe and Process
To make the homemade gelatine gelli plate: I used 4 TB gelatine, 1 bottle glycerine, 2 cups boiling water.
I slowly added the boiling water to the gelatine. Stirred well. (I could have stirred it a bit slower to avoid bumps and bubbles.) Lastly, I slowly stirred in the glycerine.Using this recipe, I don’t have to put the gelatine plate in the refrigerator to keep.
Then I poured the hot mix into a round glass pie plate to set. Most of the gelliplates are squares or rectangles. You can make one of each if it suits your fancy.
The glycerine and gelatine together only cost about $12, so I saved quite bit by making the plate myself rather than buying one premade. If I tear it, or damage it, all I have to do is reheat it in the microwave then repair into a container.
I used glass. Mainly because thats what I have handy and its easy to put in the microwave.
Cleaning and Storage
Questions about the homemade gelli print plate, i.e. gelatine plate, have been asked on how to clean it. Its pretty easy, when you are done for the day just give it a quick rinse or wipe gently. Its not necessary to keep the plate clean each time you do a new gelli print during the day though, as the colours and textures that emerge act as wonderful new dimensions to the image.
There are lots of recipes for gelatin plates. By searching online you can find one you might like better, or works better for you. You can try Jan at inatickle.com she has a good post dated January 23, 2014 that I thought was quite interesting as well.
Below, you can see the round gelatine print plate. It slid right out of the pie pan. I merely took a spatula to the edges all around, flipped it upside down and voila! It popped out. Easy.
Materials for gelatine plate printmaking
I used acrylic paints, tons of printmaking papers, a brayer and some Qtips. Papers that work best seem to be thinner and lighter i.e. rice paper, Masa, printmaking types. Newspaper, deli paper, computer paper work but…. its a shame when you get a real Beauty on it rather than a paper that will last more than a few months.
You could use stencils, bubble wrap, leaves, string, etc. to create textures and patterns. Always use soft rubbery tools, not sharp tools that will scratch the plate.
- I dobbed paints straight onto the gelatine plate, then used a brayer to spread it around til I was happy with the look.
- At that point, I used a Qtip to wipe off some colour for highlights.
- Then, laid a paper down on top of the plate and pressed, rubbed the paints into the paper.
- Next, I peel the paper off to see what my imagination has created.
Inspired by Pink and Yellow Everlastings from King’s Park
Love the colours and movement in this one!
In the past, I’ve used glass, lino, plexiglass, copper plate, plywood, cardboard for printing plates. I’ve not used ‘craft’ items. So it was with a bit of apprehension and doubt that I explored the gelatine plate printing process. No, I don’t think I’m an art snob….. well, maybe just a…. tiny bit.
The turquoise and blue turned out bold and strong, I found myself really getting into the whole gelatine plate process. I was enjoying the experiment!
Below: This round orb, is the complete print from the plate…. the very first photo is just a snippet from this one.
Lovely monochromatic palette, with streaky thin lines like branches or strings; interesting textures and oval forms. This one has a certain something, that is very John Olsen like to me. It is certainly Australian in its colours and mark making style.
Art for Fun.
Imaginative, experimental, creative, colourful. I was pleasantly surprised by this DIY gelli plate printing project.
Fast paced, process based yet – rewarding with its plethora of products, images accrued.
Amazingly serendipitous things can happen when I make the effort to make things by my own self!