If my 10th-grade self could see me now! That youngster who spent many an hour in art class cursing (in very kind words of course) at the block of wood I was trying to carve. In that art class, I tried linoleum, woodblock carving, and other methods I have blocked out of my mind. My teacher was a devotee of printmaking, but I could not share his enthusiasm. I'd inevitably end up slipping while carving and scratch the print surface in an unfixable way. At least I didn't carve my hand (well, not too many times!)
So how could I ever imagine just how much I would love mono-printing? Particularly, Gelli printing. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the vast number of printing methods, there are out there, many types of printing aim to print the same exact image over and over again. This can be achieved by using placement tools, sticking to color decisions, and an exacting focus. Artists who embrace this technique print their images in runs or series and note the number on the print.
Mono-printing is a sub-set of printing that does not attempt to recreate individual prints. Instead, each print is an original. You may get a similar effect, but not an exact copy. Gelli printing uses a gel plate. Originally these were made of gelatin and needed to be remade every so often as the surface would break down. (Another factor in the unique image each print presented.) Now there are several brands of gel plate on the market that can be reused indefinitely. I use plates from @gelliarts (found on Instagram).
That's a long intro to tell you that I have been pretty much obsessed with Gelli printing these days. I made a Tic Tok about the papers I had made one day. You can see it above. It's also on my Instagram reels. I love the layering, the shapes, the colors that emerge without my interference.
My last post talked about my Etsy shop update. The new journals I posted have Gelli printing on both sides of the pages. These more recent papers or (for the most part) single-sided. After posting a set of neutral-colored vintage papers in a pack in that update, I decided that I would like to add some colorful printed paper packs as well. So I have been printing with an eye to make some very nice bundles. I am almost satisfied with the variety of papers I have so hope to get some variety packs up on Etsy soon.
Having said that I was printing to make collage packs, I did fall a little head of heels for a few of the papers, so they will be staying with me.
If you like to check out my offerings head over to my Etsy Shop.
If I don't stop printing soon, I just might run through my pile of paper to print on. Well, that wouldn't be the worst thing as I have fabric and fabric paint. No surface is truly safe from the gel plate as it is flexible and can wrap around to print on irregular surfaces.