Friday, May 2, 2014

Gelli Plate - No Mistakes!

One thing I love about monoprinting is there are never any mistakes and you don't have to stop at one layer.  You can continue to build upon a design until you strike it rich.

I'll be the first to admit I don't love each and every print I make.  Sometimes I get an idea in my head, roll out the paints and it's a hit the first time and sometimes the results are less than thrilling.  Your first instinct might be to toss the offending print in the trash and start over.  Well I'm here to tell you there are no mistakes in monoprinting and you shouldn't throw ANY of your prints away. You can continue to add layer after layer of paint until you get a print that suits your fancy.  The print I'm going to share today was exactly that ~ very unimpressive after the first layer but got better and better as I went along.

Now here's how I work my plate....I start off with a stack of nice clean papers (I'll talk more about paper preferences next week) but I also have a stack of "B"s.  What are "B"'s?  (This is really going to date me)
When single music recordings - 45's - came out there was the "A" side which was the reason you bought the record but there was also a "B" side...sometimes it was a good song but most of the time it was just O.K....  I consider my prints that aren't a hit right out of the gate my "B" side prints.

This is the story of how one of my prints went from the "B" pile to the "A" pile!  It started off with an idea...I wanted to make a print with several different designs which was great.  Rolled out the paint, positioned the stencils but then I realized I didn't have anything that fit in the triangle....I didn't have my stamps handy nor did I have my foamies either so I just went ahead and made the print....

and here's what it looked like....  o.k. but nothing spectacular.

so I added another layer - whew...that pink is killer!!!  It turned out much brighter than it looked in the bottle.  It did go into the trash...but I felt guilty so I pulled it back out and left it in "B" pile... maybe something would help it at a later point.

I added a couple more layers to this print...once I used it to clean up some sparkle paint (which you can't really see in the photo) (yes!!! Sparkle paint DOES work on the Gelli Plate!!!) left over from a print and that improved things immensely.  You know glitter CAN make you feel better ;)

I finally added a really pretty cream print over the top of the other 3 and what do you know it worked!  Thankfully with those two additional layers of paint the horrible neon pink was tamed down enough that I really liked how it turned out.  This print had finally made it from the "B" pile to the "A" pile!

So, no matter how much you initially dislike a print there is always hope!  
You'll never have a mistake or a bad print...
it's just a "work-in-process" print waiting to become an "A" print!


  1. Love your final print! It was fun seeing the transformation. Thanks for sharing!

    When I was playing with making prints as part of a class the instructor mentioned that if you don't like a print after playing with it that cutting it up can make a difference. Some of my B prints end up being A after being cut into shapes or cut down. Also some prints I'm not crazy about work perfectly as backgrounds for cards.

  2. I totally agree with you! Never say never with the gel plate! It's fun to see it transform from "meh" to "Whoa!"

  3. Well, I guess we're BOTH old 'cuz I know about "A" sides and "B" sides. ;) Great post, and oh, so true about not tossing less than stellar first tries.

  4. Well, there are at least 3 of us in the same generation - I understood the B side reference before you explained it! (That's a bit scary!) I always keep my B side prints. I hate to throw anything away and, you're right, in this case, more can be better. I'm looking forward to your paper comparison.

  5. LOL! Then I guess I'm a bit dated as well ;) I got plenty of "B" side prints from the gelli plate - not thrown away, but just sitting there.. ugly as **** Sure will try now to make another go at them ;)

  6. It sure looks bood to me. I also like Some glitter
    That makes me smile .


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!