Gelli Plate Printing Extras! (Part 2)

(These demonstrations are bonus projects from Gelli Plate Printing by Joan Bess, copyright 2014.)

Woven Strips

6-Woven Strips_400 To create this piece, several prints were put through a shredder that cuts paper into 1/4" strips. If you don’t have access to that type of shredder, simply cut thin strips with an craft blade on a cutting mat or use a paper cutter. (This is a great way to use prints that you’re not satisfied with!) . Line up a row of printed strips on a work surface, with the strips butting up against each other. Choose random strips from different prints to create colorful contrasts. Apply a piece of removable tape or low-tack painter’s masking tape along the top edge to hold the strips in place (these are the warp, or vertical pieces). . Take a printed paper strip and weave it in a pattern of under, then over, across the width of the piece (this is the weft, or horizontal piece). Carefully slide the weft piece to the top of the piece, abutting the tape that holds the warp pieces in place. Weave the next paper strip in the opposite pattern (over, under) and slide it up to abut the previous weft piece. Continue this pattern until you have completed the weaving. . You can make the weaving as tight or loose as you prefer. The piece shown here was constructed in a tight weave, which can take a little finessing at times to get each strip firmly in place. Once complete, to keep everything in place, I ironed the weaving to a piece of fusible interfacing. If the piece is loosely woven and has openings between the strips, you can glue the piece on the back, or to a substrate. . At this point, you can add embellishments and/or stitching for additional surface interest. Here I’ve added metal brads, metal sequins, hand stitching and a few circles and squares of text punched with 1/4" punches. The interfacing backing stabilizes the piece and makes it easy to sew on and add embellishments. . For variety, try weaving an occasional strip of text from an old book, or a few random pieces of interesting yarn among the printed paper strips.

Circles on Stripes

7-Circles on Stripes_600 This collage is made with prints pulled on card stock that have been cut into strips with a shredder. The strips could be cut with an craft knife on a cutting mat, or with a paper cutter. . To create the background, glue the printed paper strips in place on a sturdy substrate. For this piece, I arranged the paper strips onto Steam-a-Seam2 double-stick fusible web instead of gluing them directly to a substrate. Then the whole layout was ironed to fuse it to a heavyweight paper substrate. . Cut circles in various sizes from Gelli prints. You can use punches, circle cutters or die-cuts for perfect round shapes . . . or hand-cut your circles for a more organic look. . Darken the outer edge of each circle to add a dimensional look. I used StazOn ink (Royal Purple) and brushed from the edge inward with a stipple brush. . Arrange the circles on the striped background and glue in place to complete the collage.  

Paper Weaving

8-Paper Weaving_600 Select two Gelli prints that complement each other. This piece is made from a viscosity print and a comb-patterned print, woven together. . Cut the first print into strips of varying width down the long side of the paper (creating the warp strips). Make the cuts slightly wavy and avoid perfectly straight lines. Keep the pieces in the order you cut them and arrange them to reconstruct the original size of the paper, abutting one another. Tape the printed strips in place with removable tape or low-tack painter’s masking tape. . Cut the second print into similar shaped strips across the shorter dimension of the paper and keep them in order as you cut them. This creates the weft strips. . Start weaving the short (weft) strips across the longer (warp) strips with an under/over pattern. Reverse to an over/under pattern for the second strip and continue in this alternating pattern with the rest of the short strips in their original order—until the piece is completely woven. . Apply glue as needed to keep the strips in place. The end result is an interesting blend of the two prints, where the original patterns on each print can be recognized. If the prints you’re weaving are square, cut one print lengthwise and cut the other horizontally. . There are many ways to create variations on a woven theme! And it’s fun to explore different possibilities. Woven pieces work beautifully on cards and other small paper projects.  

Grid of Circles

9-Grid of Circles_600 This design is inspired by the traditional Clamshell quilting pattern. To create this design, punch, die-cut or use a circle cutter to make circles from your Gelli prints. In this piece, the circles are each 2 inches. The edges of each circle are darkened with StazOn ink (Royal Purple) applied with a stipple brush. . An 18" square canvas painted with many layers of acrylic paint is used as the substrate for this collage. The collage background could be anything you choose. Paper, collage, paintings and other Gelli prints can all work well as backgrounds. . The circles are arranged in a straight line of 5 across, touching at the center edges to form the top row. The second row is offset, using 4 circles arranged with the sides touching. The top edge comes to the middle of the two circles in the row above it. Continue the pattern, offsetting every other row until you have a grid of 5 rows, using a total of 41 circles. . Arrange the Gelli printed circles to create the look you want, then glue the pieces in place. For variation, you can leave some of the circles out, creating blank space for the background to show. Or you can replace some of the Gelli printed circles with other papers, such as sheet music, text or other images. . This pattern works great as an art journal page, wall canvas, or as a paper quilt. Try it with smaller circles on cards and other paper projects.

Quartered Circles on Squares

10-Quartered Circles on Squares_600 Here’s another paper piece inspired by a quilt pattern. It’s fun to interpret quilt patterns in paper, and using your own unique Gelli printed papers makes each piece a complete one-of-a-kind! The one shown here is just one of many, many ways to use simple circles and squares to produce fabulous geometric patterns. . To create this piece, cut at least thirteen 1½" circles from your Gelli prints. These can be perfect circles made with a punch, as shown here, or hand-cut with a looser sensibility, depending on the look you’re going for. Cutting extra circles gives you the option to swap out pieces here and there to optimize the color and/or value as needed for your composition. . Cut each circle into quarters. The corners should be cut at right angles so the pieces fit together when you assemble them. The piece as shown uses a total of 50 quarter circles. For this piece, cut 25 squares each 2 inches. . Arrange the squares in a grid of 5 squares across by 5 square down. On each square, place a quarter circle in the diametrically opposed corners, matching the corner of the square with the corner of the quarter circle. Try to select printed pieces that contrast in color and/or value to enhance the overall pattern. . Glue the pieces in place on a substrate. I used bristol, a good heavyweight paper. Explore different possibilities for patterns using only circles and squares. Add more layers, change up the sizes. There are so many ways to approach this! (These demonstrations are bonus projects from Gelli Plate Printing by Joan Bess, copyright 2014.) T0883_CM_GelliPlate.inddClick here to learn more or purchase a copy of Gelli Plate Printing by Joan Bess. Find out more about Gelli Arts and the Gelli Plate at the Gelli Arts website,  

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