Exploring Gelli-plate printing on Fabric with Embroidery
This year I’ve been doing quite a lot of printmaking using gelli-plates. Like many people I came across the idea on Pinterest first but a video produced by an Australian printmaker, Jennifer Nieuwenhof really peeked my interest. I loved the work she was making and I was fascinated to learn she sometimes uses gelli-plate printmaking as a ‘warm up exercise’ before she gets into printmaking ‘proper’.
Off I went to the supermarket to buy myself some gelatine and glycerine. I also needed to find a cheap baking tin in order to make my own gelli-plate. I’m a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to shelling out loads of dosh for a relatively small manufactured plate. Granted, the manufactured variety may last longer, but I’m really not that bothered about the prospect of having to remake a plate when it gets a bit worse for wear. However… I digress.
During the course of this year, I’ve been running a series of gelli-plate workshops at my studio and for North Tyneside Art Studio. This gave me an opportunity to really explore what one could do with gelli-plates. In the last workshop at NTAS, we experimented with printing onto stretched canvas. This led to a conversation with my friend Michelle Kinniment. Michelle and I decided to get together in my studio to have a play printing onto fabric. We had some happy accidents that I decided were worth incorporating into the autumn workshop. Michelle then took the printed fabric off to stitch into and she came up with an idea that would combine her expertise and mine in the workshop. We had a lot of fun printing with stencils, masks, Indian stamps, plants, rollers and brushes using acrylic and watercolour paint on polyester cotton.
The photos below show the stages from print to hand stitching and then machine embroidery to make a lovely cover for a journal, or sketchbook or a photo album. It will make a great workshop where you end up with a finished product at the end either for yourself, or as a lovely gift for someone else in time for Christmas. Yes, I know I said the dreaded word in August, ‘Christmas’, but I have to plan for these things so you can put it in your diary! You can book it here.