For a complete change yesterday I went to an art workshop at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal. I’d seen it advertised a few weeks ago and booked a ticket just because it sounded fun, even though I’d never heard of the particular technique before.
It’s called geli, or gelli, plate printing, and involves a thick gelatinous sheet that you can roll paint onto, then use various shapes and textures to create interesting effects. Then you lay a sheet of paper on top, press down, peel the paper off again and hey presto, you have your very own unique artwork. And that’s it. There’s no printing press, no massive preparation, and the materials (apart from the paint) can be pretty much anything you like, from garden leaves to recycled junk and even bits of fabric and cardboard.
I’d expected to come home with one or two, but at the end of an intense and entertaining three hours with tutor and local artist Jess Levine, I had a whole sheaf of prints. Some of them are really attractive and I’ve already found frames for several and dotted them around the house. And because I got on with it so well, I’ve ordered a geli plate of my own. I’m hoping to use it not just for prints, but for greetings cards, gift tags and perhaps even simple wooden jewellery. Apparently, almost anything is possible!
And yes, the picture above really is my work – about the third print I made, before the room got too hot and the paint started to dry out. I’m oddly proud of it.