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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.
- 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
- 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
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
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