Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Week TWENTY SEVEN - finally!! Gelli plate printing using commercial and homemade plates

Hi everyone, such a looong time since you last saw me here. Yes? So sorry to have abandoned you and my only excuse is life! However I am back and plan to put a Playdate up every once in a while (and hopefully more often than that), so check back here or on the Facebook page for updates.

Today I am talking about Gelli plates. The latest craze that I am sure most of you have heard about. If not, go to Youtube to catch up on what the fuss is about. While I had been hankering for one for quite a while, they are a little on the pricey side, so I didn't jump right in. However I gave in a month or so ago and purchased a medium size 6” X 6” plate and I have to saw I am already HOOKED! Such fun and messy enough to keep me happy. LOLS Some examples of my playing below.

However then I REALLY started wanting a larger one (of course!), but really couldn't justify spending the bigger $ for another. SO I decided to give the homemade ones a spin. Gelatine printing has been around as long as most of us and probably longer, so lots of info on the net. The downside has always been that the homemade ones only last a couple of weeks and must be kept in the fridge. However there are now several recipes for “permanent” ones which don't require refrigeration around so I decided it was worth a play. The recipe for the one I settled on is here

In Australia it is pretty easy to get all of the ingredients although isopropyl alcohol and glycerin can both be a bit pricey. I decided to use a bottle of cheap vodka instead and got my glycerine from the medical isle in the supermarket. I learned from the comments on the page that you can get it in bulk from soap making supplies a LOT cheaper and can also use just 1½ cups of glycerin and eliminate the alcohol altogether. I think I will try that next time.

I poured it into a deepish plastic tray and it set up pretty quickly in the fridge. So I then unmolded and had a ton of fun printing for a couple of hours! I have to say that it performed pretty much the same as my commercial Gelli plate. Great!! However, the bad news was that it unfortunately cracked on a corner after this first use. I felt it was because it didn't have much in the way of support once unmolded. It is definitely NOT as firm as the commercial plates although it has a very similar feel.

However, no biggie if this does happen as you can simply throw in into the microwave, re-melt and remould! This time I thought about leaving it in the tray mould, but knew that would make it pretty hard to use unless I filled it up almost to the top which would require a whole lot more mixture than I had. I needed a quite shallow container that I could leave it in, was easy to store and would stand up to the use. Then I hit upon the answer. LIDS! I could fill the lid of a tupperware plastic type container and I would not have to unmould at all. So I ended up with two plates this time. The lid from a large container, (a little bigger than A4) and the lid from a round take out container which makes circular prints as shown below. The print on right is the first pull and on the left is the second. Plate shown above them.

Happy, happy, happy! If these too break down, I will simply melt in the container and let set again. Easy peasy......

Have a wonderful Christmas Season everyone! P.S. This one is a gelli print too.....

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