Wednesday, 6 November 2013

When 1 and 1 makes 3....

Wednesday's blog is something new, so here's a Gelli plate project I had planned for the TV show on Sunday, but didn't get to it. I made this little discovery quite by chance, when I was playing with my Gelli Plate.

But let's have a look at these new stencils first....

How did I come up with these designs? No idea. Too much coffee? Not enough sleep? Either way, I love'em!

Especially because they sit so nicely on top of one another....

You'd think I had a plan....

But the fun started when I started layering them up on a gelli plate. Take a look....

Believe it or not, I only used Green (Sap green) and Pink (Process magenta) here!

Yep, the burgundy brown colour came out of nowhere, how cool is that?? Was obvious that might happen, that the 2 colours would mix to yield a third one, but nonetheless it caught me by happy surprise!

So, in a nutshell, i placed the gelli on a piece of the same size printing card, for easy positioning first.

Then, spread green acrylic paint over the 6x6 Gelli plate with a brayer,

laid down the rocky blocky stencil,

blotted the piece with copy paper well, so that the paint in the gaps between the stencil was gone, and

pulled the first print without removing the stencil. Put a T for top on the back of the card.

Make a note: before you even start, lay up the 2 stencils so that they are sitting perfectly on top of one another. Now make a mark in the top righthand corner of both stencils with a Sharpie pen. You will be happy you did that right about the time you go to lay down the second squiggly stencil !

Next, I spread a layer of process Magenta over the Gelli plate.

Laid down the Squiggly string stencil

(happy I made that little black mark in the corner right about now!)

Blotted thoroughly again,

Pull the second print on top the green print.

And boom! Out of nowhere came the brown, maroon colour.

Did it several times, just to check it wasn't a fluke.

Even tried different colours. Same technique, different colour combinations yielded different 3rd colours. And the order in which I layered up the colours greatly changed the final result, too.

Spent ages working it out, and really got into the magic of it.

I think that's what it's all about. Getting lost in the learning curve. I had such an enjoyable hour figuring out what happened if you used this colour underneath that colour, and so on....

Here, I turned the stencils so that they didn't line up. Also lovely!

In my humble opinion, abstract work like this often looks even more interesting if it is cut up into panels. And also, we don't always want to make a full on 8"x8" card! You can cut these large pieces up and just use sections for smaller cards. Perfect for business cards, and visiting cards, too...

The Gelli Plate is a pretty amazing piece of kit. It has certainly steered my arty side down a new road. If you haven't ventured down this acrylic path yet, all I can tell you is


But now I must pack and get up to the NEC for set-up.

Biggest UK Art and Craft Show of the Year!


  1. I am a member of your stamp club can we have a gelli club too

  2. Hi Barbara
    Great ideas here. Love my Gelli Plates, have the small one and the larger one. Still getting to grips with what I can do, but I have made some lovely background papers. I'm always keen to see what you do & loved where you left the plate to dry before adding next layer etc. I would never have thought of doing that! Love these 2 stencils and will have to play. Thanks Barbara.
    Ps like the idea of a Gelli club!

  3. I love happy surprises!! Fantastic technique Barbara and wonderful results. Like you, I often cut up panels to use on different card stock. The Gelli is amazing, I love it! Thanks for bringing it to us! xx

  4. Good luck this weekend Barbara have a great time wish I could be there xx

  5. Super card, love the Gelli plate techniques.

  6. Fab I shall be watching with awe as you Gelli plate at the NEC!

  7. Love your stencils, gelli plate is my favorite, use it for many things.

  8. Looking forward to seeing you make some more at the NEC, very retro stencils these ones, my list keeps getting bigger.

  9. These are wild and wonderful just like you. I love them and can't wait for mine to arrive. Have fun at the craft show. Xxx

  10. I just love my gelli plate it's the best and love your ideas x

  11. Love this demo - so clever. Haven't tried the gelli yet, but hope Pauline will have one to try at her Aberdeen Clarity workshop! Might have to go on my Christmas list then... x

  12. I have bought a Gelli plate and kit for my eldest grandaughter for Christmas, in the hope it will break her of her insistence on perfection in all her crafting, and give her a chance to just play and enjoy the results as we did at the workshop. Now all I need is the time to sit and play with my own Gelli again. Thank you for sharing all your experience and expertise with the rest of us. Looking forward to seeing you at the NEC on Thursday morning, to see what else I can learn. I will be wearing my Clarity badge with pride. xx

  13. Lovely….crazy doodling ones..shame you didn't get them on tv…but great blog

  14. This looks like great creative fun, must get my gelli plate out later x

  15. How do you get the time!!! These blogs are amazing and such an insight into your crafting techniques - and you are so generous in telling us 'simple' crafters how to do it!!! I wish I could get to a workshop or a show - maybe essex in 2014!! Need to renew my design club membership - good to see you use some of the club stamps on your shows too!! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Don't have a gelli plate but can see how it could become addictive!!!!


Thank you for your kind messages and I hope you get inspiration from my ramblings.

Barb x