Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gelli® Plate 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 Gel prints on nonwoven fusible interfacing!

Nonwoven interfacing is a wonderful material for printing with Gelli® plates! 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® plate 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® plate-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!

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