We have gathered some tips and instructions to help you care for your Gelli plate and get the most out of your prints. Please take a moment to read these recommendations below or print the Instructions and Care PDF for easy reference as you get started.
- We recommend covering both sides of your gelli plate with plain white copy paper for storage. Make sure to remove any air pockets by smoothing out the paper as much as possible. Take care not to trap any debris or paint residue between the paper and gel plate.
- Our clamshell package is designed to be used for storing your gel plate. The plate can also be stored on a smooth tray or piece of glass. Always keep your gel printing plate laying flat on a smooth, clean surface.
- Our large 16" x 20" plate does not come in a clamshell, as a clamshell is not sturdy enough to protect this large plate (it will crack and bend easily). We recommend storing your plate in the box it arrives in - and cover both sides with plain white copy paper.
- Make sure to remove any air pockets by smoothing out the paper as much as possible. Take care not to trap any debris or paint residue between the paper and gel plate.
- We recommend keeping the label with instructions that comes packaged with your gel plate, but do not leave directly in contact with the gel plate.
- We recommend using acrylic paints. It is not necessary to clean the plate between prints, unless desired. Paint residue can contribute to surprising and pleasing results.
- There is no need to clean your plate between prints, but it is recommended to clean your plate before storage and remove all paint residue at that time.
- We do not recommend using dyes when printing on the plate (such as rubber stamp inks, spray inks and fabric dyes) as the gel will absorb some of the dye and become permanently stained. However, stains will not affect printing performance.
- Many paints and inks are compatible with printing. These include water-soluble printmaking inks and fabric paints.
- You can also use washable and permanent markers. When using permanent markers, the ink drys more quickly so you have to move quickly to pull the print. You have more time with washable markers - as they stay wet longer.
EASY CLEAN UP
- Acrylic paints can be easily cleaned from the plate with mild soap and water. Rinse and gently pat the gel printing plate dry with a paper towel.
- Gel hand sanitizers (such as Purell®, etc.) can be used to remove paint residue on the plate. Simply rub onto the plate and wipe clean with a paper towel.
- Baby wipe products can also be used to clean your gel printing plate.
- Some paint pigments can stain or discolor the gel plate. Stains can usually be removed by following the cleaning instructions recommended for oil paints.
MAKING YOUR MARK
- Fun textures are easy to find ... to get started, try using bubble wrap, plastic grids, foam stamps, stencils, leaves and string to create interesting imagery on your plate.
- For hand drawn mark-making, use soft-tipped tools like paint brushes, cotton tipped swabs or soft rubber-tipped tools.
- Do not use pointy tools such as pencils or toothpicks. They may scratch the gel plate surface and leave permanent marks.
ESSENTIAL TO KNOW
- The gel printing plate has an extremely sensitive surface and will imprint any texture it is sitting upon or covered with.
- Do not cover your gel printing plate with plastic wrap or waxed paper. Also, do not place your gel plate on these materials. These wraps will wrinkle and imprint their texture on your gel printing plate.
- The gel printing plate is made of a unique plastic that contains mineral oil. The gel plate will leach a small amount of harmless mineral oil when left sitting on an absorbent surface.
- We recommend you protect your work surface by placing your gel printing plate on a smooth, flat, non-porous barrier such as a Teflon® sheet, baking tray or piece of glass.
- Do not place your gel printing plate directly on a surface that may absorb the harmless mineral oil, like a wooden table.
- The gel printing plate may exude a small amount of harmless mineral oil when exposed to warm environments. This is normal and, when wiped off, will not affect printing performance.
- Keep away from open flame and other heat sources. The gel printing plate is for art and craft use. It is not a toy.
- Do not use any glossy paper stock, including glossy photo paper. It can stick to and damage the surface of the gel plate.
- As your gel plate is used, it is normal for it to lose its glass finish and become matte and cloudy. This does not affect its performance.
- There is no latex in the gel plate, and it does not contain any animal products.