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Wednesday, 29 July 2015


A brief history of mono-printing and some technical information.

** Psst! If you don't have a brayer go to the hardware store and grab the cheapest foam paint roller that you can find (a small one), it will work just fine!**

Free and Easy Mono-printing Methods

1. Plastic Bag Printmaking with Alisa Burke:

2. Mono-printing with recycling. Any smooth, non-porous surface can be used as a mono-printing plate. Things I have used include: plastic packaging from stamp sets, plexiglass,a glass cutting board, glass from a photo frame* and a non-stick craft mat. This video demonstrates the basic principle, and suggests other surfaces that are suitable: 

People have used this technique for hundreds of years, with printing plates made from wood, stone, tile, glass, ceramic, marble, and metal. Have a look around your house and garage and see what you can find that might work.

*Safety First: Leave the glass from a photo frame as a last resort, PLEASE. To make it as safe as possible, use masking tape on the edges and place an X from corner to corner on the non-printing side. Make sure the surface the glass is on is flat, with no humps or dips. There is always a chance that the glass will crack and cut you. 

Gelatin Printing Plates

Because of the soft surface, a gelatin printing plate can pick up more details than a rigid surface like plexiglass. This makes it perfect to use your stencils on. You can make one very inexpensively and kids really love it as well.

Basic Gelatin Plate and How To Use:

 Gelatin & Glycerin Plate: The Hectograph

Download a full PDF with the recipes, instructions for making and storing from the Files section of the Facebook Group.

The Buy-rather-than-DIY Option: A Gelli Arts Plate

  • Permanent and Stable
  • Stores at room temperature, no risk of molding
  • Durable, won't wear out
  • Both sides are perfectly smooth
  • Can be expensive and hard to get outside of America (I paid $70AU for an 8x10 plate approximately 18 months ago. This plate retails for about $30 in the US)
  • Can't be melted down and re-poured if accidentally damaged
The Gelli Arts YouTube Channel is a goldmine of ideas and techniques, no matter what you use to mono-print.

Lots more mono-printing tutorials are saved in this You Tube playlist

One last video that demonstrates the enormous potential in a mono-print series made with paper masks:

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