Thursday, September 18, 2014

Gelli Printing with DIY Combs

Combs make such interesting patterns in Gelli prints! Watch this video to see how easy it is to make your own combs from everyday materials!

Using combs ranks among my favorite methods for creating patterns and mark-making in 
monoprinting. In fact, I've included several examples in my new book, Gelli Plate Printing, 
demonstrating how to make your own combs.

The comb is an effective tool for creating dynamic lined patterns. There are many durable 
materials that you can easily cut teeth into to create a comb tool. The fun is in making a bunch of custom combs that can produce an assortment of different lines and widths.

Among my favorite combs are those made from eraser caps! Placing the eraser cap on a 
pencil first makes it easier to handle while cutting. Work on a cutting surface, and use a craft knife to cut tiny V-shaped notches in the tip of the eraser. This creates a versatile mini-comb! Try using it for making cross-hatch marks... and all kinds of gestural swipes! Gotta love those tiny lines! Great for making gestural lines and marks!

TIP: It's best to avoid letting acrylic paint dry on this tool, but if it does, use your craft knife to carve out any dried paint that may become clogged between the comb's teeth.

Erasers are perfect for turning into combs! Simply cut notches out of the edge of an eraser 
with a craft knife—and you're good to go! If you carve your own stamps, you may have some left-over carving material. That's perfect for making combs too!

Old credit cards, hotel keys and other laminated plastic cards are great for making into combs and scrapers! Sharp scissors are a good choice for making your cuts. But avoid making pointy teeth, as they could scratch the surface of the Gelli plate.

Another fun method for making combs is to use decorative edge scissors on a piece of cardboard (like cereal boxes) or craft foam. Simply cut straight across with wavy or zigzag scissors for an instant comb!

There are so many materials you can use to make your own collection of combs! And they're fast and easy to make! Try a few and have fun making fabulous combed prints! To create monotypes with your DIY combs, simply swipe the combs through the wet paint on a Gelli plate, cover with paper, rub to transfer the paint and pull your print. Have fun exploring different ways to create lined patterns! (For more combing ideas, see blog: "Wipe Out Monoprinting")

FYI– Materials used to create the prints in the video:

This Contest is officially CLOSED 

And we have a SPECIAL GIVEAWAY!!! Including an autographed copy of my new book, Gelli Plate Printing!

Leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts on the blog  - we love hearing your feedback. 

To enter the giveaway, click on the red "ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE" button below! (This will ensure that we can contact the winner and that entries are limited to one per person. One winner will be selected from all the entries via a random number generator to receive this fabulous giveaway!) 

Entries will be accepted until Monday, Sept. 22nd at 12 noon. Our lucky winner will be contacted by email and announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than Sept. 22nd at 5 pm!

  This Contest is officially CLOSED

And a special thanks to our friends at DecoArt® for generously donating the paint for this 

Good Luck and Happy Printing!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Gelli™ Printing with Styrofoam Plates

Here's a great way to repurpose styrofoam plates to use in monoprinting! Watch this video for ideas on how to make your own unique reusable designs for Gelli printing!

It's fun turning styrofoam plates into reusable texture plates with your own designs! They're perfect for creating texture plates — especially for the small Gelli plate sizes!

Here's how:

Place a styrofoam plate on a cutting surface and using an X-acto knife, cut some slivers or shapes from the plate. Remove them to create a few holes or empty spaces. The plate works essentially like a stencil.

If you have a screw punch, you can use it to make some holes in the foam plate. Always do this on a cutting mat.

One of the advantages of using styrofoam plates is that aside from being easy to cut, you can inscribe marks into it that will show in your print.

To inscribe marks, turn the plate upside-down. With a ballpoint pen or sharp pencil, draw marks into the bottom of the cut plate to create additional design elements. Make small holes by pushing the tip into the styrofoam. When your design is finished, you have a unique printing plate that's ready to use over and over.

TIP: It's a good idea to support your plate while you inscribe the bottom. To do this, invert another styrofoam plate (the same size) and place your cut plate over it. This creates a sturdy support and makes it easy to inscribe marks in the cut sections of your plate.

Here’s how to print with your styrofoam plate:

Apply paint to the Gelli plate and place your styrofoam plate on the wet paint. Place a piece   
of embossed paper or other texture over the plate and press the foam plate into the wet paint. Remove and cover with your printing paper. Rub to transfer the paint, and pull your print. 

While the styrofoam plate has wet paint on it, apply a different color paint to the Gelli plate, then press the foam plate into the gel plate. This will give you a multi-color print. 

So keep those styrofoam plates and trays and make a collection of your own designs! They're easy to stack and store — and loads of fun to print with!


This Contest is officially CLOSED

 And we have a fabulous GIVEAWAY!

We are doing things a little differently this month for the giveaway!

Leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts on the blog  - we love hearing your feedback. 

To enter the giveaway,  click on the red "ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE" button below! 

(This will ensure that we can contact the winner and that entries are limited to one per person. One winner will be selected from all the entries via a random number generator to receive this fabulous giveaway!)

Entries will be accepted until Tuesday, August 19th at 12pm EST. Our lucky winner will be contacted by email and announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than 5pm EST on Tuesday August 19th!

And a special thanks to our friends at Chroma for donating the wonderful paints for this giveaway!

Good Luck and Happy Printing!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gelli™ Printing on Nonwoven Fusible Interfacing

Printing on a different substrate is a great way to change things up. Watch this video and get inspired to create Gelli prints on nonwoven fusible interfacing!

Nonwoven interfacing is a wonderful material for Gelli printing! It looks similar to dryer sheets, and its intended purpose is to add extra body to fabric. But it takes paint beautifully! And the heat-activated adhesive makes it so easy to incorporate printed pieces into your mixed media art.

The top piece in the next picture shows the adhesive (shiny) side. The piece underneath it is the 'right' side—the side we print on (non-shiny side). They're placed on a black and white image to show the beautiful translucent quality of this interfacing. 

The samples here are all printed on Pellon® (808 Craft-Fuse®) — but any smooth nonwoven interfacing should work well. Nonwoven interfacing comes in a variety of weights. You can buy it by the yard then cut it into pieces ready for printing. 

What are the advantages of printing on nonwoven interfacing, you may be wondering? 

Well... the nonwoven fiber surface prints beautifully, it's super-easy to cut with scissors or a rotary cutter, the material is soft and easy to sew, doesn't fray, and adds strength when fused to paper — an especially good thing when adding stitching by hand or machine on paper. Also, it has a translucent quality making it wonderful for layering over previous prints, text or images! It's an excellent collage material for paper or fabric projects...and great for adding printed elements to painted works on canvas or board!

Begin by cutting your interfacing into pieces for printing. It makes things easy if you do this ahead of time, so you're ready for printing. I pre-cut the interfacing used in the video into 9"x12" pieces — perfect for printing on the large 12"x14" Gelli plate!

The printing process is the same as it is for paper. The one difference is that the paint on the gel plate can bleed through the back of the interfacing as you print. So I recommend using a cover sheet to keep your hands and print clean. A piece of blank newsprint paper, copy paper or deli paper works great as a cover sheet.

You'll also find that printing on interfacing calls for heavier application of paint on your Gelli plate.

Here are the steps for printing:
  1.  Apply paint to the Gelli plate and roll out with a brayer.
  2.  Make your marks in the wet paint. 
  3.  Place a piece of the fusible non-woven interfacing on the plate with the shiny side UP.
  4.  Place a cover sheet over the interfacing and rub with your hands to transfer the paint.
  5.  Remove the cover sheet, then pull your print!
  6.  If there's enough paint remaining on the plate, pull a ghost print.

You can print on interfacing in layers, just as you do on paper. Use your favorite stencils, masks, combs and other texture tools. Or if you prefer, take a painterly approach.

Once you've created prints on fusible non-woven interfacing you have many options for using them. The prints are perfect for paper or fabric collage, so consider cutting them into pieces and fusing to other artworks. If you have a die-cutting might try cutting them into different shapes!

If you're looking for a good substrate to fuse your prints to... how about those papers you use to roll off paint from your brayer. They're perfect for collage! Cut up some interfacing prints and fuse some pieces right onto the painted papers for a quick and gratifying mixed media experience! Add stitching! Add doodling! Add embellishments! Fun!

Colored pencils, NeoColorII crayons, Inktense pencils and fabric pens are among the fun ways to work further on nonwoven interfacing prints!

To fuse the interfacing to paper or fabric, follow the manufacturer's directions. Place parchment paper on your ironing surface to protect it, then place the substrate and fusible pieces on it. Cover the whole thing with parchment paper to protect your iron. Press to fuse. Easy!

If your interfacing isn't fusible — no problem. After you make your prints you can easily iron a layer of fusible (such as Wunder-Under or Misty Fuse — or your favorite fusible webbing) to your interfacing prints and they're ready to fuse to another substrate. Or, simply use gel medium or your favorite collage adhesive.

Printing on non-woven interfacing is a process that can send you into a creative frenzy! So many possibilities!

FYI— Materials used in the video include the following:

This Contest is officially CLOSED 

Congratulations to our winner via random number generator: DIANE!! Simply stated... we have AMAZING fans. I'm always shocked and humbled by the talent and creativity amongst our fans and contest entrants! Here is a description of Diane... A fiber artist specializing in art quilts. She loves to play with different fabrics and fibers, dyes and paints, and other surface design materials/techniques. Please - go check her blog to admire her lovely works of art!

And we have an AWESOME GIVEAWAY!!!

Our giveaway includes a 12"x14" Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate... and a special Gelli apron!

One winner will be selected at random to receive this fabulous prize. To enter to win simply leave a comment here on the blog. Comments will be accepted until (Tuesday, July 29th at 12noon EST). Our lucky winner will be announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than (Tuesday, July 29th at 5 pm EST). Good luck!

This Contest is officially CLOSED

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Stamping with Gelli Plates

The new 3"x5" Gelli plate is so versatile! Watch this video and see how easy and fun it is to use it as a stamp!

As you can see... the smallest Gelli plate doubles nicely as a monoprinting plate and a stamping surface!

All you need to do is press the 3"x5" Gelli plate onto a smooth, flat plastic or acrylic surface — like an old CD case or acrylic stamping block — and you're good to go. It's that easy!

3”x5” Gelli plate on the lid of a CD case
TIP: If you're using a CD case, it's best to take it apart and use the smooth front cover by itself. Or, simply flip the case open when you press it to your substrate. If not, you may find there's a bit too much 'give' in the empty closed case when you stamp with it, and the plastic can crack if you press too hard.

3”x5” Gelli plate on a 5”x7” acrylic stamp mount 
Inexpensive acrylic box frames, available at art and craft stores, are another source for excellent Gelli mounts. Here’s a 3”x5” Gelli plate on a 5”x7” acrylic box frame — ready to use!

Look for small plastic storage boxes with smooth surfaces or lids that the Gelli plate will stick to. 
Do not stick (or leave) the plate on a surface that has a texture or dimensional logo or pattern in the plastic, as that can imprint into the Gelli plate surface.

3”x5” Gelli plate on a lid of a small smooth plastic storage box
As an alternative, try using a piece of acrylic, plexiglass, styrene or glass that's slightly larger than your Gelli plate. To keep things safe, apply duct tape to cover the sharp edges.

Once your Gelli plate is stuck to whatever base you've selected, you're ready to use it as a 
stamp! The bond created between the Gelli plate and the 'mount' is temporary. You can easily peel the plate off the mount at any time and print with it in the conventional way.

Here's how to stamp with your Gelli Plate:

Apply acrylic paint to the gel plate, roll it into a thin smooth layer with a brayer — and make your marks in the paint. Then flip the whole thing over and press the plate onto the printing surface of your choice. This creates a monoprinted image that's stamped onto your substrate. It's a fun alternative method for printing with the Gelli plate. And remember, the image you create on your plate will print in reverse, like any stamp!

You can use masks and stencils in combination with the stamping technique. The easiest way is to place the mask or stencil directly on your substrate and stamp the painted Gelli plate right over it.!

Using a clear mount allows for accurate placement of your monoprinted image! Add stamped monoprints to sketchbook pages, art journals, larger works, fabric pieces and more!

The following pages are from a small art journal filled with Gelli-stamped images:

I like to roll the excess paint from my brayer onto sketchbook pages. Those pages are wonderful beginnings — and stamping additional layers over them with the 3"x5" Gelli plate is a fast and fun way to add interest to those pages. 

Be experimental and try different techniques! This is the perfect opportunity to play with different color combinations!

Stamping is one more fun and easy way to use a Gelli plate... so go ahead and give it a try!!

Have fun... and Happy Printing!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Printing with Small Gelli™ Plates!

Love creating tags, cards and ATC's? Now there are two smaller Gelli plate sizes — perfect for these small print formats – and great for so many other projects and artwork. Watch this video and see how much FUN these new sizes are to print with! 

The NEW Gelli plate sizes are 3"x5" and 5"x7" ... just right for creating tags, cards, ATC's, 
postcards, small fine art prints or adding monoprinted images directly to larger work. The 
possibilities are endless!

It's so much fun creating small printed images. Printing on tags is so fast and addicting! It takes no time at all to create interesting layers. Use your favorite texture tools, stencils, and masks — and the acrylic paint of your choice.

The hard part is stopping!

FYI — the following materials were used to make the prints shown in the video:
3"x5" Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate
5"x7" Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate
Speedball 4" Soft Rubber Pop-in Brayer

Texture Tools:
  • Leaf 
  • Grafix Edge Stencil Film (various 'O' shapes cut on Silhouette Cameo)
  • Grafix Stencil Film - Heavyweight (punched circle masks)
  • Dura-Lar (masks: hand-cut with fancy-edge scissors)
  • Assorted commercial stencils
  • Embossed paper (from Spellbinders embossing folder)
  • Novelty yarn
  • Rubbing plate (Roylco)
Small prints invite free and spontaneous printing. As you can see from the list above, anything goes. Use your favorite materials and techniques! Cut your own simple masks! The small format invites experiments of all sorts. And printing on index cards is a wonderful way to try out new ideas!

This Contest is officially CLOSED

****Congratulations! Our winner for this giveaway via a random number generator drawing was Lilotte! You can see more of Lilotte's artwork here... 

And now... Our exciting giveaway includes both of our new small Gelli plate sizes:

1 — 3"x5" Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate
1 — 5"x7" Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate

One winner will be selected at random to receive our two new small plates. To enter to win 
simply leave a comment here on the blog. Comments will be accepted until Monday, June 23rd, 12noon EST. Our lucky winner will be announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than Monday, June 23rd, 5 p.m. EST.

This Contest is officially CLOSED

Good Luck and Happy Printing!

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