Category Archives: Printing

Child’s Play

Gather your Ingredients:

1 crazy Gelli Plate addict (moi!)
1 Gelli Plate
3 double-sided children’s texture plates
Your choice of acrylic paint colours (I use them All!)
Some glitter paint (if you have them)
Brayer
8 sheets of A4 art paper (I use 190 gsm, but anything from 120gsm upwards is ok)
Sheets of Deli Paper (or Greaseproof paper for those who can’t get hold of Deli Paper)

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One side of the 3 children’s texture plates I used.
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The reverse side of the same texture plates.

Method:
1. Load up your Gelli Plate with several dots of different coloured acrylic paints at the same time.

2. Use brayer to spread paint over the Gelli Plate. Do this quickly and try not to smear the colours too much, or go over the same areas more than once or twice. Otherwise you will get mud.

3. Use the kiddy texture plates to stamp patterns onto the painted Gelli Plate. Take the painted texture plate and stamp it at random places on some of the A3 sheets of paper.

4. Place a sheet of Deli Paper/Greaseproof Paper over the Gelli Plate to absorb excess paint. Pull a print. Remove and put the printed Deli Paper aside for other projects.

5. Place a sheet of the A3 art paper over the Gelli Plate and pull a print. If there’s any paint still left on the Gelli Plate, pull another print.

6. Repeat steps 1 to 5 above with different colour combinations, until both sides of all 8 A3 sheets are filled. Leave some white spaces, for contrast.

7. Frame your favourite prints. Or, I would tear the A3 sheets into smaller pieces to bind later into my Juicy Journals.

Some of the results:

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And some close-ups:

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You can’t really make it out in the photos, but there is a glittery shimmer to the papers, as I’d mixed some glitter paint into some of the Gelli prints. I love the effect! It’s quite sophisticated, instead of being childish.

Now, go play! :-)

Gelli Printing with Deli Paper

At last! As part of a job lot I purchased from Interweave (the people behind the mixed media mag Cloth Paper Scissors), I was able to get my grubby paws on the almost-mythical, legendary American “Deli Paper”. The paper that American artists have been waxing lyrical about, pun intended.
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Now, I haven’t yet done a comparison study between our Aussie Greaseproof Paper and the American Deli Paper, but to me they feel pretty alike. I was intrigued by the claim that Deli Paper will become transparent when glued to other substrates. So, let’s take this baby for a spin, on my Gelli Plate.

First, I must share with you the object that inspired this latest experiment. It’s actually a teacup and saucer that The Kid picked out for me from T2 in Perth City. The range is called “She Loves“, and my teacup and saucer are no.633 of a limited edition of 900.

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The wrapping paper it came in echoed the theme, and once I’d painstakingly removed the sticky tape cleanly, said wrapping paper went up on my bedroom wall. I used a couple of Apps on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to edit a photo I took of the wrapping paper, and added slme more colour and texture to it. It is now my Note 4’s wallpaper.

Here it is:
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So, with this colour palette in mind, I decided to play with my new Deli Paper, to put it through its paces and see what all the hype is about.
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As my Gelli Plate is 8×10 inches, and the Deli Papers are 6×10.75 inches, I found the best way to marry the two was to use 2 pieces of Deli Paper. I’d already tested out 2 sheets previously, glueing them onto a large art tag, and making more art tags seemed a good place to start. Of course, in retrospect, I could’ve used all the Deli Paper on my Gelli Plate, leaving some extra paint on the outside of the Plate…but hindsight is always 20/20, right? ;-)

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I deviated from my usual method of Gelli printing, by experimenting with the way I laid my acrylic paints down. Normally, I would work with 1 colour at a time. This time, however, I decided to go for a mixed, ink splashy look, just like on my teacup and saucer. So, this time I squeezed a few drops of 1 colour onto the Gelli Plate, followed by a few drops of a different colour, and perhaps a third colour, before using my brayer to smoosh the colours around. I tried not to mix the colours too much, as I didn’t want to end up with homogenised mud.

So here are the results:
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These are the printed Deli Papers. I’ve put them aside to dry. I also have 4 A3 sheets of paper, printed on both sides, as a result of brayering off excess paints and stencils etc. Because I only used 4 sheets this time, as opposed to my usual 6 or 8, the sheets are super-saturated with all sorts of interesting abstract shapes and colours. I don’t think I’ll be needing to use any or much Dylusion Ink Sprays to fill in the blank spaces, as there aren’t that many blank spaces!

Not sure what I’ll do with all these yet, but watch this space!

T2-inspired “WOW-MOM” Gelli Prints : Part 3 Assembling the Juicy Journal

Here we are, following on from yesterday’s post. What have we got? A bunch of Gelli Plate printed papers, printed on both sides and torn by hand into equal, smaller pieces, ready to be made into Juicy Journals.

Now to assemble the Juicy Journal. Hmmm…how shall I stitch this one? I have some ideas for new stitches, let’s see if it works.

First, get your gear together:
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Twine, scissors, pen, measuring tape (I can’t find my ruler!), knitting needles (my awl), drawing pin (my other awl for making pilot holes), stack of paper. These are the papers that I “juiced up” earlier in my last post. I have grouped them in couplets i.e 2 pages to a signature…so in that stack are 6 signature couplets.

Here are the 6 signatures, on end. Just to show you how vibrant and colourful they are.

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I marked 4 holes in each of the signatures’ spine. And used the drawing pin to make pilot holes, which I then enlarge using my knitting needle. I’m high tech, like that LOL.
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Now that all 6 signatures have 4 holes, it’s time to bind them together. Remember, it’s all an experiment…and I have no idea how it will turn out. Here goes!

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I’ve decided to bind 2 signatures together, side by side. That will make 3 couplets when the whole journal is assembled.

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Now to bind all of these together.

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Here are some close-ups showing the bindings.
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Quite pleased with this, the brown twine knots gives it a rustic look, but I’d rather have a stronger stitch down the middle, not just one on its own.

T2inspired “WOW-MOM” Gelli Prints: Part 1 The Inspiration

I came across T2‘s online advertisement for Mother’s Day, which was a GIF that slowly transformed the word WOW into MOM, over a background of abstract shapes. The colours used for the background were restricted to varying shades of pink, red, orange and yellow.

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I decided I would try creating some Gelli Prints using only those similar colours. Using my newest homewares-sources texture mats. And then, for contrast, using inks from the blue spectrum to fill in the spaces in-between.

So, here are my latest finds from the homewares aisle of local shops, which will create the marks for my Gelli plate prints. These are silicone trivets, a pencil case (yes, really),  felt placemats and a plastic/raffia round placemat.

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And here’s my restricted palette of colours to be used:

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As you can see, I get my acrylic paints from various sources. I like them runny and squeezy, as they’re easier to apply to my Gelli Plate that way. I find the paint in tubes a little too dry and hard to brayer on the Gelli Plate. These tubes are cheap, costing me only around $2-5 each.

Tomorrow I will show the results of this WOW-MOM Gelli Plate Printing experiment.

Art Abandonment Rockingham : Juicy Journals

This year, my first Art Abandonment exercise was back in January, on Australia Day, when The Kid and I ventured to the Rockingham Foreshore to Abandon several books wrapped up with brown paper, and tied to some Lenormand divination card decks that I’d created and had printed.

We did another Abandonment in February, but that time The Kid and I cycled around Rockingham and posted some of my Inspiration Deck cards through people’s letterboxes in their gardens…so it was more of a choreographed affair, and not as random. I had an interesting discussion about the legalities of this with the Art Abandonment crowd on Facebook. Many of the members, being Americans, advised that it is actually against US law to just pop something into someone’s post box if it hasn’t gone through the Postal system. Luckily, I was able to ascertain that this isn’t the case in Australia. Hence the inordinate amount of junk mail we get over here…hmmm.

I’ve decided it’s high time I did another Art Abandonment. I’ve decided that my earliest Juicy Journals would make the best candidates. I reckon about 10 of them should do it.

So, these fellas:
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I’m going to do the Abandonment on May 1st, traditionally Labour Day. Oh, don’t mind me, I just like picking days that stick out…and oh my, I’ve just realised that nearly half the year is gone already??! Tempus Fugit!

I’d better get cracking finding some envelopes to put these babies into, and printing out some Art Abandonment labels.

I stamped the backs and some fronts of the journals, with a Chinese “Happiness” stamp that I’d had for many years. I felt this was appropriate, in keeping with the Art Abandonment philosophy of spreading Happiness the world over through Art.

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The smaller Juicy Journals will go into these button-string envelopes that I’ve stuck an Art Abandonment tag on. The bigger ones will go into envelopes or ziploc bags.

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Like so! All done, and ready to rock and roll. I think this time I’ll hit the cafe strip and discreetly leave my gifts at empty tables, where customers will find them.
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Update: 10am West Australian time. 1st May 2015. DONE!

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The next 2 photos show an elderly couple after finding one of my gifts on a park bench by the beach. And a young couple with 2 kids in a stroller after picking up another of my journals.

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Mission accomplished! :-)

Handbound Juicy Journal Tutorial

A la AlyZen Moonshadow. This is a handbinding technique that I invented by accident, while experimenting with different bookbinding techniques. I’m not an expert on making books, but here are some books I can recommend:

Making Handmade Books

The Little Book of Bookmaking

At Home With Handmade Books

Making Mini Books

These are some of the books on the subject that I have personally read. Of these, Alisa Golden’s “Making Handmade Books” is the closest to a bookmaking bible I’ve come across, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a book to get you started on creating your own books.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I’d used 6 A3 sheets of paper, Gelli printed on both sides, to create 3 separate booklets with 4 pages each, as seen below (aren’t the colours just gorgeous?):

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Now, each of these booklets will be stitched together to form what’s called in bookmaking circles a “signature”. And I will then be binding each individual signature to each other using my newly invented technique. The 3 booklets will then effectively become 1 book.

Here are my tools laid out for ease of reference. Notice my very high-tech tools for creating the holes for sewing my books…yes, I do mean the drawing pin and knitting needles. The knitting needles have more than one function, as you will soon see. image

So, to begin, I measure and mark off 4 evenly spaced points on the spines of each signature. These will be where my black twine ($3 for 32m from the discount store) will go through.
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And now to make those holes…I use the drawing pin like an awl to make the initial pilot hole, then drive a knitting needle in to enlarge the hole. Here in the picture you can see the drawing pin in the bottom hole, and the knitting needles in the two top holes.
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Ok, one signature down, two more to go. Lather, rinse and repeat the hole (sorry, couldn’t help it, I love puns) exercise. Until you’ve got 4 holes made in each of the 3 signatures, like so:
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Now comes the fun part. For this technique to work, the thing to remember is to always have an even number of holes per signature, and always have an odd number of signatures.

I’m sure there’s a technical term for the sewing method I’ll talk about next, such as sewing in the “valleys” or “mountains” (similar to Origami or the art of paper folding)…but my mind wants me to remember the order of sewing thus: In Out In Out (Shake It All About) :-) As in the needle goes In the first hole, Out the second, In again at the third, and Out the last. This way, your needle and thread will be coming Out of the signature, so you can then bind it to the next signature. Think about it: if you started with Out instead of In, by the time you reach the 4th hole, your needle and thread would be on the inside of the signature, with nowhere to go next.

Ok, so here we go. Here I’ve stood up the 3 signatures in the order they will be bound together. Starting from the right of the one closest to me, push the end of the black twine into the first hole, then out, in and out again at the other end. This is the IN OUT IN OUT movement, which will be replicated on the other 2 signatures.
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To continue, simply thread the twine that’s come out of the last hole on the left of the 1st signature, into the 1st hole on the left of the 2nd signature. When you get to the other end, do the same with the 3rd signature. Try to pull the twine tight very gently, so as not to buckle the paper or worse, tear it.

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Now all 3 signatures are linked. Notice that the start of the 1st signature and the end of the last signature are not linked to the others. There should be around 1 foot of twine on either end of the bound signatures.

To tie in the loose ends, literally, slip the end of the twine through the loop on the signature that’s already bound to its neighbour, and then slip it out through the loop that’s just created. It’s hard to explain, so here’s a photo showing the move.

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Do the same for the other loose end. The ends of the twine will now be on the spine of the middle signature.
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Next, hook the end of the twine through the top of the middle long stitch. And start weaving! There are 3 signatures, so there are 3 long stitches. Weave across these in an Over-Under-Over motion, alternating from one side to another.

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Here’s where the knitting needle comes in handy. I just slide it under the stitch I want to weave my twine through.

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Continue weaving the twine ends through the 3 stitches, until they meet in the middle. Then, all you need do is tie the ends into a knot, pull tight, and et voila! All done!

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I hope you like it! :-) I think, with my next Juicy Journal, I might make the long stitches even longer, so as to show off the weaving even more. I like the rustic woven effect a lot.

Juicy Journals

I’ve heard the term “Juicy Backgrounds” used by several mixed media artists. What they mean are journal pages that are ready prepped, either by printing or painting or the addition of ephemera, as opposed to a pristine blank journal page. This helps jumpstart the creative juices, and goes a long way towards overcoming fear of the blank page, or Artist Block, if you will.

Which makes a lot of sense to me, as I would love to start an art journal, however I’ve never been able to find something worthy to throw onto a page and go on from there. Until now, that is. When my stash of Gelli Plate monoprints started overflowing, I decided it was time to do something with them. And I hit upon the idea of creating mini art journals with those pages. I love books, both to read and as an art form, and making my own art journals using papers that I’d printed seemed an ideal way of marrying the 2 art forms – Monoprinting and Handmade Books.

I’m calling my Art Journals “Juicy Journals” because they are already filled with colour splashes, abstract shapes, glitter and shimmer, stamped alphabets and numbers, so in a sense they are very “juicy” indeed. They’re meant to be enjoyed on their own, or, if you like, you can draw/stamp/paint/etc over them to your heart’s content. There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy them.

Here are some photos of the books I’ve made thus far. I started out with simply tying the pages together so more pages can be added if needed. Then I ventured into pamphlet stitching, hard and soft covers, and even created a few bookbinding stitches of my own. Two of these “Juicy Journals” are winging their way to friends in the UK and USA as I write this, and I hope to sell/give away/Abandon the others.

Enjoy!

20150419_113532Two horizontal Juicy Journals.

20150419_113825Top: 2 vertical, 3 Alphabetica pocket pages, 2 horizontal, 1 soft cover hand bound, 1 square ring bound.

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My 8 original minis, rebound with coloured hemp cord.

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Inside one of my “Alphabetica” pocket pages. The 3 little insert cards go into the button-n-string envelope.

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My 3 “Alphabetica” pocket pages. I love those little button-n-string envelopes.

 20150419_113100Detail of one of the pages of my ring-bound Juicy Journal.

20150419_113425Detail of the inside of 2 of my horizontal Juicy Journals.

Gelli Printing Experiments using Homeware Finds

Yesterday I wrote about finding new sources of textures-making tools for Gelli Plate printing, from the homewares departments of my local stores.

I have put my newly acquired treasures to the test. And am very pleased to report that they have all performed superbly. I printed several A3 sheets on both sides, in preparation for making handbound art journals out of them. But I like some of them so much that I’ll be keeping them as part of my growing portfolio of Gelli prints.

Re: the art journals idea. I initially thought the pages could be used for doodling on, adding ephemera to, painting, gessoing etc…but now it’s evolving to mean that the Gelli printed pages themselves are “juicy backgrounds” for my handbound art journals, and the sum of the parts, Prints + Book = ART. The pages can be enjoyed just as they are, as part of a Juicy Journal. Yes, I’ve decided that’s what I’ll call these art journals.
Here are some of the prints I made. Enjoy! I hope you like them as much as I did printing them.

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Adventures in the Homewares Department

I was queuing up at my local Spotlight homewares, Arts & Crafts depot, waiting to buy some binder rings for an art project. There were 2 kids and their mother behind me, and the little boy wandered over to a shelf by the side and picked up a circular turquoise-coloured something. His mother told him to “Put that back!” right sharpish, and so he did. But not before I noticed that said circular turquoise-coloured something was made of silicone and had a beehive pattern on both sides, and could possibly make a wonderful texture stamp for my Gelli Plate printing.

So, as soon as the boy dropped the object back on the shelf, I picked it up. It was labelled a “hot mat”, but essentially it’s a potholder or trivet for putting hot pots/pans on, to save your kitchen countertop.

It was beautiful.

Having bought my newest texture-making toy, I started searching the kitchen and homewares aisles of my local KMart and Target stores. And of other, independent stores. I believed I could find some pretty amazing things that I could use for my Gelli Plate printing, at a fraction of the cost. My turquoise trivet had set me back $6.50.

My mission came up trumps. Here are some photos of my new stash of (cheap as chips) goodies:

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The 3 in the top photo are silicone heat trivets, or hot mats, if you will. The others are placemats made of compressed felt. The last one, the red, however, I believe is made from extruded rubber or plastic.

Now to go create some Gelli Art with my new finds! I’ll be sure to share the results with you in my next post.

Strip Art

No, no, not what you’re thinking. Pfftt! Tut tut. Naughty naughty ;-).

I mean Art made from Strips of Gelli prints. That’s my latest creative notion, one that I’ll get to eventually once I’ve done the 101 (ahem!) other little projects I’ve set myself.

Like these that I’ve curated from Pinterest. The first one is my ultimate aim; the Pinterest link led to an Etsy store, but the item had already been snapped up by some lucky bugger. So I thought to myself, “Never mind, I’ll just have to make my own!”. The others are for inspiration. Go, me!

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