Gelli plate monoprinting
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About the Course
Gelli plates offer a versatile method of monoprinting, where unique prints are made rather than an edition of identical prints. A flexible rubber-like plate that holds textures really well, it’s great for nature prints, building up designs with stencils, and overlaying colour to create beautiful patterns.
You can make prints very quickly, and layer them up with bright colours that pop dramatically, or subtle harmonious ones to give a wonderful depth to the images. By pressing seaweed, leaves or found objects and textures into the plate, you can take an impression that transfers to make incredibly detailed prints.
It’s super easy to make lovely looking images, and with some practice you can control the technique to create art with atmospheric textural qualities similar to collagraph. Using stencils with the plates is another way of building images and we’ll have lots of pre-cut ones for you to experiment with.
This class is run by Xtina Lamb, who uses Gelli printing in her work – often printing with items she has mudlarked to build swirling portraits of presence and loss along the river shores on which they were found. She was recently commissioned by Medway Council to produce new work on the theme of the Battle of Medway 350 years ago. She created gelli prints nearly a metre long depicting the fireships of the battle.
We’ll be using two kinds of gelli plates in the class – homemade ones containing gelatine and glycerine, and a commercial product from Gelli Arts made with mineral oil. They are similar and both can be permanently stored at room temperature, but the homemade ones are more easy to damage and they often need to be melted and reset after use. They are less firm than the Gelli Arts plates and the plate edges can be a bit wibbly wobbly with a less even printing surface, whereas the mineral oil ones keep a straight edge, are perfectly flat and are more easily handled. A lot of people like the organic look of the uneven edges and flaws in the gelatine plates, as they lend a lot of character to the prints.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above. The voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
In the the class we’ll explain how to make the plates, look at examples of gelli prints and take you through a series techniques with a lot of instruction and tips. There will be many textures, stencils and natural materials to work with, and you can cut your own stencil shapes either by hand or on our digital cutter.
All materials are included for the class, but you can also bring along interesting textures to try out with a gelli plate.
Refreshments of tea and coffee are provided on arrival and available throughout the course. There are a good range of cafes very close by if you get peckish.
Gelli printing is very addictive, you might not want to stop once you’ve started! After taking this course you'll be able to book to use the print studio equipment and workspaces during open access sessions. The print studio is a very friendly place, with lots of supportive people, a relaxed atmosphere, and a great community of talented artists who visit to use the facilities regularly.
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Course Start Dates
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
- Accessible by public transport
- Disabled access
- Suitable for events & groups
- Teen friendly
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