Notes about Using Gelli Plates with Sculpey Clay

These pages are provided to my students and close clay friends.  Please do NOT put these links out on social media! While I realize that this is still a public page, it’s really for our use only. THANKS – syn

Tips for Using Gelli Plates with Clay

It’s very tempting to buy the largest Gelli Plate you can.  Then you feel obligated to use large sheets of clay and create a lot of waste.  I buy the 8×10 plate and cut into 4 pieces with a very sharp kitchen knife (okay, my chef son does this for me!).  Then I use a piece of clay about 3×3 inches.

Clay:

  • I prefer to use Souffle clay because the paint is almost immediately dry, but Premo! works great also
  • Trim your clay to an apx. Size you will need so you don’t waste clay!
  • ALWAYS HAVE TWO SHEETS OF CLAY READY TO GO!
  • After applying the paint, place the clay sheet face down on the plate and put a piece of paper over the top and rub gently, making sure that the entire piece of clay has contact with the plate. Quickly remove. I recommend the paper over the top because the clay will tend to stretch and mar your pattern.  If you are using a very small piece of clay, you can press gently with the palm of your hand and repeat with the other hand.
  • Immediately place the second piece for clay for the “shadow print” if there is paint left on the surface
  • Clean the gelli plate at once with a baby wipe

Paint:

  • I prefer to use the chalky cheap acrylic paints or Jacquard Lumiere metallics
  • Less paint is better than more paint
  • If you get too much paint on the plate, use a baby wipe to remove some of it and start again

Gelli transfers multi

To Create the background for Silkscreen or Transfer:

  • I prefer to start with darker color first then the lighter color or metallic
  • Use the cheap children’s water color brushes to add the tiny amounts of paint and swirl the paint around on the gelli plate.
  • Allow the paint to dry between paint colors
  • IF YOU ARE GOING TO SILKSCREEN OVER THE CLAY- you can add as much paint via the gelli plate as you wish.
  • IF YOU ARE GOING TO TRANSFER ONTO THE CLAY- make sure to leave enough blank clay for the transfer to grab.  Two colors is usually the max.
  • Allow the paint to dry thoroughly before doing the transfer or silkscreen
Gelli transfer using both a stencil and Etch n'Pearls

Gelli transfer using both a stencil and Etch n’Pearls

CREATING PATTERNS AND TEXTURES ON THE CLAY USING ONLY THE GELLI PLATE:

  • Put dots of paint on the plate and then use roller to spread the paint
  • If using plastic wrap for texture, you can use a paint brush to spread the paint since the plastic wrap removes a lot of paint.
  • Other items you can use for texture: Etch n’ Pearls, stamps, stencils, brushes, combs

 

 

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