Project number 2 with Barbara Gray introduced some of us to the Gelli plate for the first time. I was one who had been very uncertain of how useful and interesting it would be. By the end of the exercise, I was totally hooked and fired up with lots of ideas on how I could get my money's worth from it.
This time, we were using acrylic paints, something else totally new to me, and it is frightening how fast it dries. However, Barbara does not believe in wasting anything and has come up with several different ways to recover a potential masterpiece which is trapped on the Gelli plate because it is too dry to pull the print. You do need to remember that you can never repeat a design. Each one is totally unique, and it was fun looking round to see the results that everyone else had achieved. The first task was to pull just a simple print, using a stencil and sequin waste to provide the pattern.
Then we progressed to using the centre mask to give us an aperture through which to stamp. The apparent wasted piece of card with the rest of the design can then be used as part of another project, perhaps as a backing for an ATC. Barbara also taught us how to do an awesome moon mask and how to change the look of the frame with the addition of Adirondacks inks.
This is just one way of cleaning the Gelli plate and using every little bit of ink left on the plate. Several of us still had a faint image (an echo) left after we had pulled our print, so Barbara added a little bit of lighter colour acrylic spread over the plate. Then a piece of cheap copy paper was used, rather than the expensive paper, to pull this soft print - perfect for a backing paper. Being very absorbent, copy paper just sops up all the remaining ink.
One very important tip that Barbara gave us was the care of the Gelli plate. Always store it as it came in its original packaging, but also massage a little baby oil into it every so often to keep it in good condition. The kind of acrylic paints used are also important and Barbara has decided that the creaminess of the Daler Rowney range works the best - and they are British made too.