It’s funny how things work. Two women from totally different career paths join together as a collective mind to turn an exciting idea into a reality. Joan has an idea, Lou Ann ‘gets it’ and knows how to make it happen.

Meet the two brains behind Gelli Arts®

I’m Joan Bess. My long history in paper arts began as founder/owner of the rubber stamp company Emerald City Stamps in 1980. After selling the business and working in my studio for a few years, I launched my next business venture, PaperClips, selling folios of original vintage papers for collage.

Along the way, I’ve taught mixed media workshops at the Newark Museum and the Book Arts Roundtable in New Jersey. My award-winning work has been shown in various group exhibits in NJ and is in numerous private collections. And I was thrilled when a small art quilt I submitted to a Quilting Arts magazine challenge graced the cover of their Winter 2006 issue (#24).

Fast forward through years of papermaking, collage, assemblage, fiber arts, book arts, jewelry and experimenting with just about every mixed media material, to my current mad passion for gelatin printing.

But along with printing on gelatin came the hassles of having a plate ready to use whenever the mood struck. I kept envisioning a non-perishable printing plate that had the same sensitive surface as gelatin; a plate that could be stored at room temperature in my studio; a plate that would always be ready for printing; and importantly, a plate made of non-toxic materials.

I’m Lou Ann Gleason, and that’s where I entered the picture. I have over 20 years of experience marketing big brands at Procter & Gamble and have developed and launched several new products throughout my career. After seeing Joan printing on a gelatin plate, my gears went into motion; I was convinced we could develop a non-perishable alternative. After a lot of research and a little luck, we found a resource to work with to perfect a new printing plate – one that is non-perishable, has a sensitive surface, always ready for printing, non-toxic, easy to clean and store. I puzzled all the pieces together to make this happen, and wound up with an innovative product we’re totally excited about. The Gelli Arts™ Gel Printing Plate has brought out my inner artist, and I’m now happily monoprinting in my spare moments!

We love this product so much and we’re excited about making them for you! We wish you many happy printing sessions – and can’t wait to see your creations. Please send us pictures of your Gelli prints ... they may end up on our gallery page to inspire others.

Hope to hear from you!

Joan & Lou Ann