I've been doing a bit more printing with my Gelli plate today and trying out a stencil which I made a few days ago. I decided I wanted to try using some stencils with the Gelli plate and I really wanted to make my own rather than buy ready made ones. I bought some mylar sheet and a special hot pen gadget. I bought a fairly cheap hot pen which might be a mistake because it does get quite warm when you are using it (I don't think the handle is insulated enough). I tried cutting out a couple of simple shapes first before tackling the one I was really interested in doing!
I used a photo of a window I took when I was at college a while ago. I played around with it in Photoshop Elements and Inkscape to create a black and white image to use as my template. I had to edit the image to make sure all the parts I wasn't going to cut out were joined up. This did take a bit of time to do and I was quite relieved when I cut the stencil out and no extra bits fell out! It could do with a bit of tweaking around the bottom as there are a couple of places where it could do with being a bit more 'joined up' to make it stronger but it seemed to hold up pretty well while I was using it. I put the template (taped down) under a piece of glass and then taped my mylar on top of that. I found the cutting out process quite relaxing once I got into it. I did find the 'pen' slipped a couple of times - I probably started trying to go too fast. I think it will take quite a bit of practise to achieve nice smooth lines and I suspect a good sharp knife would work better for some shapes - especially ones with lots of straight edges.
I was quite surprised at how well the stencil worked - I wasn't sure whether the lines would come out as I had cut them quite thin. For this print, I covered the plate with paint before placing the stencil on top and then my paper. I then rubbed over the paper quite firmly with my fingers.
I then made some other prints using several layers, adding texture before printing the window shape. I can't remember exactly what I did for these prints! I was just playing around. I quite like the 2nd print you get after removing the stencil - the print below was done like that (over some other layers)
I like this blue/green one - the photo doesn't really do it justice!
It's hard to see the window image in the photo of this red print. It's quite subtle!
I really like the grungey look you get from layering although I haven't really worked out how to deliberately produce the look. All 'happy accidents' so far!
I did some other prints of the window without any background. This one is black mixed with a tiny bit of copper (which you can't really see in the photo!)
Black/grey onto some handmade paper.
I've got some other ideas I want to try out using this stencil but they will have to wait for another day! Now I know my stencil worked ok, I really want to make some more! I did make a couple of very basic ones with shapes on but I wasn't very keen on how they printed up. I think I'm going to spend some time going through my photos and see what else I can come up with!