RGA Friday

Gel Plate Printing – Inspired by Nature

Tutor: Janina Maher
26th April 2024

Gel Plate printing is a way of making one-off prints pulled from a gelatine-like base plate. Warning it is a very fast process and is extremely addictive!

Whether you have no idea what gel plate printing is, have a gel plate but not sure what to do with it, or would like some more ideas for making prints, then you are very welcome on this workshop.

Taking nature as our theme we will make a series of monoprints using the gel plate. We will cover  

  • Quick overview of the tools and materials
  • Mark making techniques 
  • Printing with natural items such as leaves, grasses, and feathers 
  • Making and using nature themed stencils and masks

All the techniques will be demonstrated and there will be time for you to experiment.

What to bring:

  • Apron
  • Gel plate (please see important note below)
  • Acrylic paint – 6 to 8 tubes of acrylic paint in your choice of colours. The Pebeo and Hobbycraft brands work well and are a reasonable price. Ideally bring a mix of transparent and opaque colours and a metallic. 
  • Paper – bring about 30 sheets of assorted A4 paper eg white, coloured and black printer weight paper, sugar paper, smooth cartridge, perhaps some old maps or music paper to print on. Not glossy photo paper as this does not work. 
  • Roller (or brayer). 4 inch wide works well 
  • A handful of leaves and grasses from the garden (nothing dried, or thorny) 
  • Pencil
  • Tools for cutting out stencils: cutting mat and craft knife, or scissors
  • Thin card for cutting stencils (cereal boxes are fine) 
  • Baby wipes (to clean roller)
  • Kitchen towel 
  • Scrap paper to cover and protect the tables 

Optional to bring: 

  • A few simple nature related images you would like to make stencils from eg seed pods, simple tree shapes, birds. 
  • Any previous gel plate prints you have already made and would like to work over

If you don’t have a gel plate there will some available to borrow or purchase on the day. Please email Janina in advance of the workshop if you would like to reserve one.

If you prefer to purchase in advance then the two brands recommended by Janina are Gelli Arts and Gel Press. Any size will be fine but Janina finds the 8” by 10” size very versatile.

There will be an additional cost of £3.00 to cover extra paper (wet strength and deli paper) and incidentals.

Check out the other planned RGA Fridays Workshops.

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