A strange sort of post….


This is a sort of strange post for me.  It concerns crafting, sort of, but from an odd angle.

I am planning on going to a crop on Saturday, and I had said last month that I would bring my Gelli Plate with me, and those cheap paints I mentioned a bit back, so anyone who had seen all the buzz about it could have a look, have a play, and see if it was something they wanted to get in to.

Flash forward – DH had ordered this odd little gadget that basically plugs into the HDMI port of your TV and turns it into an Android tablet.

We have been playing with it a bit, and it seems to work really well.  OK, so it isn’t a Mac product, so for me the learning curve has been higher, but it’s getting easier to use.  The theory is that if you are travelling, for example, all you need is this – no monitor, no keyboard, only a mouse.  With new technology, DH always looks for the thing that will make me WANT to use it, and for this, he loaded up the TED lectures.  From the site:

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.

In the evenings we have been watching the occasional lecture on many and varied topics.  Again, to keep me interested, he usually lets me pick the topics LOL!  Last night we watched this one:

OK, so I know you are wondering how this all ties together….

The talk speaks of the Adoption Curve, which is a classic tool to show the spread of anything (remember the shampoo commercial? You tell 2 friends and they tell two friends, and so on and so on… ) and looks like this:

The talk is about how social networks can be used to predict epidemics, but funnily enough, when I was watching it, my craft-minded brain automatically made a link between this whole concept, and the virus-like spread of the Gelli plate! At first, there were the early adopters – people who maybe had already done gelatin printing and jumped on the plate, maybe with some skepticism, but then took off running.  Little bits of info, a few posts on blogs, and more and more people decided to make the leap.   Just based on my own casual observance of the Gelli posts, I could clearly see this curve replicated in real life!  And really, the same thing happens with all manner of  things, from Candy Crush (which everyone (everyone but me) at the last crop seemed at the very least familiar with, if not actually playing it) to taking up Project Life, etc.

But it also got me thinking about what happens next?  Like many, I got a plate.  I love it, find it hugely fun to play with, and posted a few times on things like classes or videos I had seen, making homemade tools, and eventually a few posts on actual things to make with the prints.  The temptation is to just pull print after print after print and worry about what to do with them later.  Not sure at this point if we are in the Late Majority phase or are already to the Laggards, but my thought is that we might be in the Adoption Gap phase. Because where I had seen a LOT of inspiring sorts of work using the plates, what I was not seeing was as many practical, anyone-could-make-this projects.  There was a TON of work that I would call real art on the Gelli Plate Facebook page.  At first it was just print after print after print. some explaining the techniques, but more just whole posts or videos of HOW to use it, and sample prints.  Then there were many art journal pages and collage work – fine if you do that, but less of a push to actually get a plate if it isn’t your thing.  It is perhaps only more recently that I am seeing stuff that is more mainstream crafting – tags, cards, scrapbook pages incorporating Gelli prints, Tattered Florals flowers for pages or cards, and ATCs.   And that is what, I think, is going to make even the casual crafter look again at the plate and think Do I need that?

It reinforces what someone said to me once, and that is that nothing sells like actual, practical, I can do that examples.  Just showing something and saying This is so cool! is not going to make most people run out and get it.  Seeing a fabulous and inspiring project, with step-by-step instructions on how to replicate it, IS going to push them in that direction. I do know I would be hugely interested in seeing the sales curve of the Gelli Plate, and see where, exactly, the tipping point was, the adoption fall off, or if it is still to come.

So now I am planning on getting out the plate, and having a play, so when I take it to the crop I can feel confident enough to demo it at least a little, rather than just plunking it down on the table and saying Have at it…. I may have to see if I can come up with a small, simple project that people can do so they can see the fun of the playing and printing carried on to a logical, practical, final project.  I’m thinking a card is probably the easiest, but maybe a set of embellishments for a page.  I’ll see what the prints look like and if that inspires me in one direction or another, I’ll run with it.

If you managed to read this all the way thru, I would love to know what you think.  Do you have one?  What made you get one? Was getting one something that was, really, outside your comfort zone? and if you got one, how much have you used it?  Will you carry on using it or will it join the other NEED THAT items in your stash that, in the end, you didn’t really need after all? Or has it opened up your crafty life in some surprising way?  Do tell…..

9 thoughts on “A strange sort of post….

  1. I agree with you on what to do with the papers. Printing with the plate is so much fun – an the prints pile up. I´m more into collage than journaling but don´t do it often. Prefer kind of projects I don´t work on for ages. I´ve created a template for postcards 4 on A4 and like to pull prints with these as well as with folded greeting cards. Just have to keep in mind my inky fingers lol.

  2. I felt that I needed to commented … I first saw the Gelli in youtube tutorials and I must say that I loved the results that I was seeing, but living in Greece means that it would be doubly expensive for me to buy … so like ‘tinkerhamilton’ I looked for other ways to do it, I tried it on glass, I made my own gellatin plate … I even tried a teflon mat [worst result ever] and I still wanted more so I went ahead and bought the 8 x 10 … and i LOVE it to bits … I don’t tend to do huge sessions … and I have projects in mind when I use it …

    A couple of weeks ago I won a 20 pound to one of my fav stored … The Craft Barn, thought it was fate, so I went ahead and ordered the 6 x 6 plate as well!!! 🙂

  3. Great post MA. I’m very distinctly in the ‘not going to bother’ camp. Mainly because I know myself well enough to know that after making a few backgrounds, I’ll be fed up with the process, the ‘potential’ of it will just stare me in the face and nothing I produce will look as it did in my minds’ eye. The thought of a pile of backgrounds that I won’t have a use for because by their nature they are arty and painty just adds to my own case. However, as you see, now I’m seeing results with the page after page printing and some of them are really quite lovely. I’m not ‘against’ Gelli plates, but I’m definitely not a customer and am probably likely to be one of the ‘walkers’ that Julie G mentions in her comment..after all, if I discover half way through that it’s never going to be for me, there’s kinda no point lingering; as long as it’s not a rude departure!
    How like you to give up crop time to demo.

  4. I love all techy gizmos but try to wait till I hear whether they really work before jumping in and buying. I did buy a gelli plate the 8×10 size. I really like it alot. I have had it for 3 months and have used it 5 times. It is addicting. I love the different prints you get using everyday items. I use the prints for cards and am planning to start a journal. What got me hooked was Andy Skinners blog and the amazing prints he creates with stencils and the gelli. The cons are so many prints and so little time to use them all!

  5. Ok I am a tech geek I just love technology it goes along with my electrical training that I have already, so it is a power thing for me and I sponge it up and get excited, yep I am not normal, sorry about that but onto the gelli plate I seriously love it. I can’t use it enough and no it will not end up in the unused section of the craft room. I can’t remember where I saw about the gelli first but when I did I then researched everywhere before purchasing it.

    Hugs Eliza

  6. Me? I love the techie talk. True geek, here. I w as familiar with the adoption curve, but I don’t recall seeing the gap; interesting refinement that is so logical.

    I haven’t checked out Gelli plates per se, but the first comment here confirms what I thought: this is today’s take on gelatin plate printing that my mom did in the 1970s. She used it to make many copies of announcements or post cards – a cheaper ditto maker of sorts.

    I love this entire post!

  7. Very insightful comments. I was at a mega-crop on Saturday and was doing a series of demos with the Gelli Plate. Because it was primarily a scrapbooking crop I knew it would probably be a “hard sell” to that particular crowd. I took some scrapbooking related projects with me (layouts featuring diecuts from Gelli prints, mini-albums with Gelli print backgrounds, embellishments made from Gelli prints…flowers, tags, punched shapes, stamped images over a Gelli print). It was interesting to see the reactions…some who could see the versatality of the Gelli Plate and others who didn’t even stay for the whole demo (I’m assuming they are not the kind that like to get paint on their hands). I really think that for those that are just being exposed to it for the first time and are on the fence, they need multiple exposures and hands on experience to really get what I hear over and over again from the Gelli Plate community…that it is so freeing creatively, addictive, and just plain fun! I think any demos definitely have to be tailored to the audience…are you talking to the art journaling / mixed media crowd…they will really get it! Or are you talking to papercrafters…they need a specific project that shows them how to make really unique cards or layouts. There were also quite a few teachers at this crop event and it was interesting to hear their comments on what a fun project it would be for their class to try or as a birthday party craft idea for their kids at home.

  8. ooooh I like the look of that Android dongle whatsamajiggit. As for the gelli-plate epidemic (and it really does feel like an epidemic!), I resisted for a long time as had made a ‘proper’ gelatin plate in the past and it’s easy enough, and I thought that the gelli-plates were overpriced. But I eventually gave in and I am glad I did (in fact I now have two sizes) as it’s SO much less of a faff than making up a gelatin plate, plus you don’t need to give it a shelf in the fridge 😀 Unlike some I’m not really into doing a mammoth printing session, I tend to just make a couple of sheets when I need them, and so it’s great being able to take it off the shelf, use it, put it away again, with no prior fuss.

  9. The Gelli Plate has been an interesting one for me. I thought that I NEEDED it, but was convinced that I needed an A4 version not the 6 x 6 so I sat and waited for it to come available in the UK. Sadly, everywhere was continuously sold out or too expensive as the plate went viral.

    That got me thinking. How much do I really NEED this plate? How do I know I’m going to use it, will I enjoy it or will it be a 5 minute wonder. I started googling how to make one of my own and found an amazing recipe for a gelatine plate which I used our glorious bank holiday to make. It cost me the grand sum of £1.30 in gelatine and 30 minutes of my time. Yes, I was excited to use it, yes I enjoyed pulling print after print off. Yes I now have a pile of prints to use, but I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them. I think I got the plate out of my system quite quickly at minimal cost and mess. Will I use it again? there are so many inspirational blogs and YouTube clips offering more and more possibilities, I think I may,

    Meanwhile I need to blog my afternoon with gelatine and paint and share in case others want to experiment before they buy.

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