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Old 06-03-2016, 09:14 PM   #1
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Default Gelli plate

I'm thinking about taking the plunge and getting a gelli plate, any advice, tips or tricks will be much appreciated. Also links to some good tutorials would be great!
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:55 AM   #2
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Hi there -

You will LOVE the Gelli Plate!

My advice is to get some paints with transparency to them, like Golden Open Acrylics - they are fun to layer. But start with whatever paints you have and just try things.

We have an intro tutorial here: Gel Printing Basics Tutorial - Splitcoaststampers

And I LOVE Barbara Gray's tutorials on it - this is her YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/user/Claritystamp
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:29 AM   #3
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They are fun! We used them in an art journaling class I took. I snagged the small one at a sale for $5 last year, but I haven't played with it yet. Maybe I'll break it out today after I watch the video. Thanks!
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:14 AM   #4
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Well for me it's one of the things I just use that often. It's fun but I don't use prints that often. I'd rather just seeing on the page or canvas. Maybe someday but the joy hasn't hit me yet.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:25 AM   #5
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Have to revise my post I just watched a video on gelli plate with canvas and it looks like a lot more fun than making prints. Off to try it
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Old 06-09-2016, 12:28 PM   #6
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My only advice is to check on youtube before you buy, because several people have tutorials up that show you how to make your own permanent gelli plate. It doesn't look difficult at all. Do a search for "the frugal crafter". She has a great DIY tutorial on how to make one. I think they are totally overpriced for what you get, but that's just my opinion.
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Old 06-09-2016, 03:48 PM   #7
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I have the gelli plate and the Gel Press...I like the Gel Press better.
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Old 06-10-2016, 11:27 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by BohemianBelle View Post
My only advice is to check on youtube before you buy, because several people have tutorials up that show you how to make your own permanent gelli plate. It doesn't look difficult at all. Do a search for "the frugal crafter". She has a great DIY tutorial on how to make one. I think they are totally overpriced for what you get, but that's just my opinion.
I made the one from the Frugal Crafter's recipe, and I have it in the basement with all my other stuff, not refrigerated, not in an airtight container, not treating it like anything special at all. I don't recall that it was at all difficult to make; I used one of those 8x10 acrylic box frames for it. No major issues with bubbles or anything. And if I recall correctly, at least half of the knox gelatin I used was past it's best-by date.

It's been well over a year since I made it, and there is no mold or anything icky growing on it. It has shrunk in size a bit, but otherwise no changes. I'm glad I didn't shell out the big bucks for the real thing, because it turned out to be the sort of thing I liked playing with for a little while, and then lost interest in.
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Old 06-10-2016, 04:12 PM   #9
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I have the gelli plate and the Gel Press...I like the Gel Press better.
The Gel Press folks sold the rights to the Gelli Plate folks, apparently (or something like that), and they're the same. My LSS sells both and you can't tell them apart in classes. I also have both, though in several different sizes. : )
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Old 06-10-2016, 04:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by chihuahua-mom View Post
I'm thinking about taking the plunge and getting a gelli plate, any advice, tips or tricks will be much appreciated. Also links to some good tutorials would be great!
If you haven't already done so, you might watch the super short videos that the manufacturer, gelliarts.com has.

If you google "Patti Parrish gelli plate" on youtube, you've find long videos with lots of info. Patti taught me to dive in, not worry about outcome, get messy and be surprised.

One hint many people echo: no matter how much you don't like a print, look closely to find a small part(s) that's interesting and cut it/them out. You can cut a hole in an index card to make a frame, basically, and hold it over different parts so you won't be distracted by the uglies. Chop up your prints! (I sometimes weave strips.)

I went to my LSS's mixed media art journal class this week, and we used Gelli Plates. I cut leaves out of the scrap paper you roll your brayer on to clean it. Some colors in one spot were perfectly mottled and harmonious.

And have fun!
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Old 06-10-2016, 05:58 PM   #11
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Don't buy the small one. You will wish you had the larger one (8x10 aprrox.) I have the 6 x 6 and its fun, but limited to what you can do.
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Old 06-12-2016, 07:41 AM   #12
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Don't buy the small one. You will wish you had the larger one (8x10 aprrox.) I have the 6 x 6 and its fun, but limited to what you can do.
I first bought the large one, but when I just want to fool around a little I often use the 6x6 or even 3x5 (index cards!). I make mini books now and then, so the 6x6's (or even 3x5's) are great for those. And you can stamp with the little ones.

But to go along with what you said, since sometimes only part of a print is nice, cutting down an 8x10 can still give you a good-sized piece, but cutting down a 6x6 can get small. Not that small is always bad. I've made little pockets out of small pieces, or used them for die cuts or punched. But you have fewer options.
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Old 06-12-2016, 08:46 AM   #13
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I like my smaller one, but if you can only get one, I'd go bigger. If you can afford more than one, you won't be disappointed having them both.
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Old 06-15-2016, 12:36 PM   #14
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Thank you for all the advice and links. I wound up making my own, I poured it into an Iris photo case just to try it out and I've been having so much fun with it. I now have over 50 ATC backgrounds and a growing collection of acrylic paint! I'm going to make a larger one for cards and such this weekend. Got a box of craft goodies in and I think I was more excited by the bubble wrap to use for gelli printing than anything else lol.
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Old 06-16-2016, 07:55 AM   #15
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I bought my first gelli plate at Michael's. They started selling the Stampendous one. After viewing a youtube video comparing the Stampendous vs. Gelli Arts plates, I quickly realized that I should return the Stampendous one. It is very thin which I believe would inhibit good stencil prints. Then, after reading some of the comments from the youtube video, many suggested that a home made gelli plate is by far the best. So, I made one and I'm very happy. I used the recipe from Linda Germain's blog and it makes a nice 8 x 11 plate. After a printing session, I cut up the plate, microwave it for 2 1/2 minutes and pour it back into my pan. And honestly, I feel as though the second and third pourings have made a better plate. As much as I always agree with Lydia's advise, I don't find the homemade plate making odor offensive, so it works for me!

Now, I need to find acrylic paints that make pretty prints. My first two sessions I used acrylic paint from the craft section...you know, the $1.49 bottles. It seems to dry fast on the plate and makes heavy layers on the first print. I even added some blending solution to help out. Works okay. So, as usual, I am taking Lydia's advise and am waiting for Golden Open Acrylics to arrive Saturday. Can't wait to give them a go this weekend. They are fun to make, I just hope I find something to do with the prints I've made.
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Old 06-16-2016, 04:15 PM   #16
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Now, I need to find acrylic paints that make pretty prints. My first two sessions I used acrylic paint from the craft section...you know, the $1.49 bottles. It seems to dry fast on the plate and makes heavy layers on the first print. I even added some blending solution to help out. Works okay. So, as usual, I am taking Lydia's advise and am waiting for Golden Open Acrylics to arrive Saturday. Can't wait to give them a go this weekend. They are fun to make, I just hope I find something to do with the prints I've made.
You can also add a little gel medium to the acrylics to increase the open (wet, working) time of the acrylics.
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:08 AM   #17
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You can also add acrylic paint "retarder" to slow drying time of craft paints - or others, for that matter. Several companies make it.
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Old 12-23-2016, 06:04 PM   #18
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I have been gelli plating with wonderful results except when it comes to lifting dried paint left on the plate. Paula Philiph and Patti Tolley Parrish call this " crusty bits", and I have followed their tutorials on printing the dried residue. However, the paint on my plate does NOT come off well at all.. much of it is left on the plate. I have allowed the paint to dry completely, then I have brayered on a thin layer, and I even tried a thicker layer, and have used more pressure and done it for a longer time before pulling the print. Most of the dried paint STILL remains! What is wrong with my technique?
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Old 12-23-2016, 06:41 PM   #19
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Well first, how great that you're getting wonderful results! It's hard to tell without seeing what you're doing, type of paint, etc. I'm not an expert but dried paint has come off for me - but it's from the current session. But maybe you just have really stubborn paint. (I've used Goldens, Liquitex, Studio Calico and a couple others, all heavy bodied paint so a little slower drying.)

I assume you're using acrylic paint, that you're not using glossy paper, and the dried paint is just here and there - not an entire coated plate. Things to maybe try:

- Apply a coat of white on top, applying pressure over the entire plate with your hand or a brayer, and then pull. I don't know why white sometimes works where other colors don't, but I was taught that at The Queen's Ink, where we made Gelli print mini-books, and have read it several times. Maybe the binders?

- If that doesn't work, apply white paint, put the paper down, press it, and leave it for 24 hours, then pull. I've never tried this so can't vouch for it.

- If that same dried paint is there from way back when, maybe you'll want to start fresh and clean the plate, and not use that particular paint when you retry. I wash with a drop of dawn and warm water, and am *very* gentle, just using my fingers/palms, no nails.

GelliArts says dried paint "may" be removed by pulling a print with new paint, but they recommend cleaning between sessions. And others say "some" dried paint may be removed.

I just have a feeling it's tough-as-nails paint if you've been following Patty Tolley Parrish's techniques. She's a gelli print guru and I learned from her videos too, then used Gelli plates at a couple of LSS's.

Please report back what happens! Or if you're in the DC/VA/MD area, bring it over, haha. : )
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Old 12-23-2016, 06:59 PM   #20
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BTW, GelliArts says you can also use a hand sanitizer like Purell to remove paint, and you can use baby oil to remove stains.

You know how acrylic paint can dry around the top of the tube and in the cap, and it makes little paint chips that sometimes fall off when you open the paint top? If you have the equivalent of those on your plate, I'd wash them off, since they're hard and can gouge the plate. One instructor never wipes off paint tubes (which is fine), and in a class some dried bits fell on her plate, and when she went to take one off, she dug a tiny hole in the plate. She didn't seem to care though. : )
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Old 12-24-2016, 04:24 AM   #21
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bjeans,
Thank you so much for your quick reply. After evaluating your response, I think it probably IS the paint that I am using... just the cheap acrylic craft paints, that I have heard "works well". Maybe I will try the Liquitex and Golden paints although they are costly and I do this technique a lot! So yes, I am using acrylic paints only, and NOT glossy paper. I have tried white paint and leaving the paint on the plate for a longer time, after burnishing, and found that the paint dried too much and the paper actually stuck to the plate and tore. I have cleaned the plate well and started from there. I agree with you about Patti Tolley Parrish, and love her prints, especially the " crusty bits" prints! I will persist until I find the right combination of supplies and technique! I really appreciate your feedback.....
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Old 12-24-2016, 04:50 AM   #22
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I'd just start fresh with a clean plate and try colors you didn't use before. Regular craft paint should be fine. Based on absolutely nothing but curiosity, if I used the craft paints, I'd buy Liquitex white just to see if it would pull better.

I just use Liquitex Basics, the lower priced line, and Michaels sometimes discounts them a lot. I bet other stores do too. I don't remember how I happened to get Golden!

I hope you post back what happens. I'm really curious now! And when I next talk to the Gelli pros at the LSS I'll see what they think. I bet they say something like, "Oh, that just sometimes happens." : )

ETA If your paint dries super fast you can add a retarder.

Last edited by bjeans; 12-24-2016 at 05:14 AM..
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Old 12-24-2016, 05:27 AM   #23
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bjames, this was interesting and makes me wonder if you plate could use a bit of conditioning, for lack of a better word? I hadn't heard of them drying out, but if paint is adhering too well, maybe cleaning and applying baby oil like this person did would be a game changer?

A Moment of Panic - Debby Epps, Mixed Media Artist

BTW, the GelliArts folks are also good at responding to questions.

Beth, admittedly an information junky
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Old 12-24-2016, 05:43 AM   #24
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Tried to edit but couldn't. What jumped out at me was when the person (from the link) switched to her other Gelli plates, they worked fine. I know she was having trouble pulling more than one print, and you're dealing with dried paint but still...
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Old 12-25-2016, 12:43 PM   #25
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bjeans,
I will definitely try to condition my plate as you suggest. In the mean time, I must tell you that even though it is recommended that the "final pull" for removing all the dried paint should be done with a thin layer, I tried a juicier layer, thinking that my paint was too dry and would not adhere to all the layers. This actually worked better, not PERFECT, but better than with the thin layer. I also don't know if I mentioned that my plate is the "permanent" homemade one, directly from " the frugal crafter" tutorial, and was thinking that maybe that has something to do with the quality and performance of the prints! I have noticed some shrinkage... my plate was 3/4" thick when I made it, and now, after 3 months, I see that it is only about 1/2" and the edges are a little shriveled and stiff! What do you think? And have you heard of this happening to the homemade plates? I have tried to contact Lindsay, the frugal crafter, but have not heard back....
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Old 12-25-2016, 01:07 PM   #26
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Ah - if you have a home cooked plate, the properties will be different. For one, there's no gelatin in Gelli plates manufactured by GelliArts or GelPress. Manufactured versus homemade are apples and oranges, both nice fruits but different.

That means conditioning could be useful or harmful for yours. BTW, when I've pulled dry paint I don't brayer on a thinner layer, though my layers vary unintentionally so who knows. : )

I've heard of various things happening to those people make, even mold. That's not a put-down - my hat's off to those of you who make them from scratch. The ones that are purchased are permanent with no change over time - unless they're damaged or not cared for properly.
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Old 12-25-2016, 06:16 PM   #27
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Even though I believed what those youtubers claimed about the homemade plates being permanent, I think I will just relent and splurge on " the real thing".... especially now that I know I love it and will use it frequently.
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Old 12-25-2016, 06:41 PM   #28
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Maybe they are permanent if they're made or stored a certain way? I don't have any hands on experience. I love my GelliArts plate and might eventually get a smaller one, but that doesn't mean your homemade one - or some version of homemade - isn't great too.

I wonder what ingredient made it shrink. I've heard of some people remelting and reforming theirs to a shape or size they like better.
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Old 12-26-2016, 05:08 AM   #29
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You got me thinking about homemade vs. store bought, and this article out of several seemed to strike a good balance regarding permanence, how you clean them differently, etc.

Making your own Gelatin/Glycerin Plate ? Sharon Giles Art

I'm glad I bought mine; it's in as good shape today as on day 1, and there's support from GelliArt for questions/concerns, plus people at two LSS's who use them extensively. So $25ish (?) was a bargain. I've wasted far more $$ on nonsense, or good items I never use. Repeatedly. But it also sounds like homemade with glycerin work really well. So whatever floats our boats. : )

The negatives I read were more about another company's plate which is much thinner and reportedly doesn't take acrylic paint as well.
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Old 12-26-2016, 05:10 PM   #30
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Thank you bjeans,
I will definitely visit the link you sent me... I welcome any and ALL info about gelli plates. Maybe because water is used in the homemade gelli plate, this causes it to shrink as the water evaporates... the glycerine is supposed to "plasticize" it and make it permanent!
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