Monday, April 24, 2017

Spray Inks on the Gelli Arts® Printing Plate

Hello and welcome to the Gelli® Arts blog! 
It’s Birgit here with a new technique video about using spray inks on the Gelli Arts® printing plate.

The products used in this video are:
Gelli Arts® 5x7” plate, a rubber brayer, a variety of spray inks, stencils from Carabelle Studio, gel medium, white gesso and black gesso.

Using spray inks on the Gelli® plate was an experiment to me, so I just tried some things to see what would happen and if I would like it. I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome and I hope you like it too!

My first print is made using the spray ink straight on to the plate with a stencil on top. 
When you spray straight on the plate, the ink will create puddles. When you place the paper on top the ink will spread all over the plate and the print will look very “watery” and with little detail from the stencil.

But there is a way to get more control over the ink by adding a “carrier” on the plate before spraying that will prevent the paint from spreading to much. 

The first thing I tried was gel medium. Spread a thin layer of gel medium on the plate with the brayer, then place the stencil on top and spray with a variety of colors.  
When you make a print, the ink will not spread that much and you will get a more distinct print of the stencil. After removing the stencil you can make a second and even third print. Since the gel medium dries clear the colors will stay as bright as they originally were. 

My second try was using white gesso. The spray inks reacted to the gesso the same as the gel medium but because it is white, you will end up with really nice powdery pastel colors.  

My third attempt was using black gesso and I loved the result. The process was the same as with the gel medium and the white gesso, but the bright colors mixed with the black gesso created a very dramatic effect. This time I removed the stencil after making the first print and sprayed some more color on the left over black gesso, which gave a bit fuzzy, but really fun print.

The last thing I did was cut shapes from paper towels to use as masks. I added some gel medium to the plate and placed the paper towel shapes on top. After spraying the first layer, the paper towel pieces soaked up most of the spray ink, leaving white spots in the print. 

After spraying for the second time, the paper towel pieces were wet and couldn’t hold the ink anymore, which revealed a mix of the first and the second color. I could do this for at least three, four, or even five times before the paper towel pieces were to dirty to make nice prints. I love these results! It is as if you are looking through a microscope. Very organicI like the texture you get from the paper towels. Next time I go out to buy paper towels, I will definitely take notice of the variety of textures. 😀

I am very happy with these prints! Experimenting is fun! You can try this using different colors of acrylic paint too. Or how about using your brayer to move the spray inks around? 

Thank you for watching! I hope you enjoyed it and got inspired to get out your Gelli® plate and your spray inks to play! 

Happy printing! 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Gelli Arts® Printed Easter Table Runner

Hi there! It’s Marsha here today with a fun project to add to your Easter decor!

It’s so easy and fun to customize fabric items with the help of the Gelli® plate. Use specialized fabric paints for this or just mix your favorite acrylic paints with a fabric medium.

Always check the instructions on the paints you are planning to use. Some fabric paints just need to dry for a set amount of hours before they are permanent, others need to be heat set in order to become permanent and washable.

Also, wash and iron your cotton fabric item before you start printing. The paint will grab onto the cotton fibers better when all sizing is washed out.

Here are the written steps to create an Easter table runner: 

Step 1
I found it useful to mark the exact middle of my fabric with a crease to make it easier to position the first printed blocks. Once the first row is on there, you can use the printed blocks to help line up the following prints.

Choose about 4 different paint colors that coordinate well and grab a couple of stencils to use whilst Gelli® printing. I chose to work with the 5”x5” Student gel printing plate.

Start printing blocks of color onto the fabric.

Keep a clean brayer on hand to press the fabric onto the Gelli® plate. 

Alternate solid blocks with patterned blocks using your stencils. Repeat until you’ve covered the entire table runner.


Step 2
Take the Oval Gelli® plate from the set of 3 Mini Gel Printing Plates (Oval, Rectangle & Hexagon) to randomly stamp ‘eggs’ over the patchwork patterned fabric.

If the fabric paint is (semi) transparent, you may need to stamp your eggs twice for the best result.


Step 3
Add golden polkadots or other details using a brush

Step 4
Let the paint dry for the hours stated in the instructions on the packaging. Heat set if needed.
The fabric paint I used needed to dry for 24 hours before I could heat set it with a hot iron.

Step 5 (optional)
If you like, you can machine stitch or embroider along the edges of the eggs and the blocks of color. This creates a nice texture and makes the eggs stand out more.

Happy Easter!!


Gelli Arts®:
5" x 5" Gelli® Printing Plate
4" Pop-In Soft Rubber Brayer
Gelli Arts® Mini - Oval

Cotton Table Runner
Fabric paint
Stencils (Nathalie Kalbach for Stencil Girl Products - Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Manhattan, Mesa Verde, Santiago, Toledo)

Sewing thread (neon pink)

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