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…..