scrappystickyinkymess


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Stampendous or Gelli? Monoprint plate comparison

This product was NOT provided to me to review – I bought it with my own hard earned £s.  Not that that fact would matter to any review, but I would have been happier if I hadn’t paid for it LOL!

I was quite excited when I saw there was another “gelatine” plate on the market!  It was a bit cheaper than the Gelli plate, and thinner.  It was the thinner that really got me excited.  Cause I was hankering after a round plate, and then after the smaller sized ones, and I immediately thought I can cut that! And indeed I could.  And did.

stampendousCP

I started by cutting some paper shapes to check the size, although in the end I got more than my first plan.  I got:

  • one  6  x  4
  • one  5 1/4-ish round
  • one  4  x  4
  • one  2 3/4  x  3 3/4

And looking at the scraps I had left I thought What the heck? and cut a large heart, a 1 inch circle and a slightly bigger than 1 1/2 inch circle using one of the Sizzix thick dies.  Yep. You heard me.  I die cut my Creative Palette.  And this was all before I used it for the first time.  Evidence, you ask?

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This was all before I used it, cause, you see, I expected that it would work pretty much EXACTLY like the Gelli Plate.  Ha   HA   HA. The joke was on me.

Excited to have a play, I pulled a print.  I was using the Basics paint, so slightly better quality acrylic.

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What? That was a simple print – bubble wrap that had a bit of purple on it, pressed to the plate.  OK so I tried the cheap craft paint, lighter body, not so quick to dry.  Better.

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OK so then I tried the craft paint and tried to pull a print thru a stencil.  WTF?!

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This was NOT going as I expected.  I hopped over to You Tube to see what sort of demo videos I would find.  Found this one. What was obvious was that the techniques shown did NOT include many of the ones I love with the Gelli Plate.  So I carried on experimenting.  I tried the small shapes.  Added the paint, laid on the stencil, brayered off the paint (tried to)

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Then printed with them.

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Not very crisp, but possibly with some work it could be OK.

I grabbed one of my home made foam stamps and tried lifting off the paint with that – again, I’ve done this 1000s of time on the Gelli, but….

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DOH!  To be fair it is hot here, but the paint dried so quickly and the plate gripped the paper so strong it tore it.

The video shows slow-drying medium, which I don’t have, but I certainly have used Glaze medium to increase the open time of paint so I gave THAT a try:

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A MASSIVE DOH!

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I had plenty of dried paint on the various plates so I grabbed my packing tape and …

packingtapeno

DOUBLE DOH!  I know that is hard to see but at the top left you can just about see the yellow smudge and you can clearly see the plate is still loaded with paint.

I had a look at the packaging and saw mention made that spritzing the paint with water would allow you to pull further prints.  I first tried the stencil again, this time doing the normal process – paint on plate, stencil over, thinner (printer) paper over to pull thru but gave it a bit of welly, as they say:

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Then I rubbed really quite hard with my thumbnail, really pressing into the paper –  I almost embossed it, I was rubbing so hard!

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And that gave me an almost acceptable print:

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I then tried the water spritz, which improved things a lot – first pulling thru the stencil and then printing with the stencil removed:

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Just for comparison, I grabbed my 6 x 6 Gelli plate and tried the same, with Basics paint as well – just to be fair, cause if it was the heat of the day that was causing the problem that would matter:  Nope.  Gelli plate pulled thru the stencil just fine

gellicompare

and the second pull was just as dark

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What have I concluded?  If you want a Gelli Plate, get a GELLI PLATE.  While I have no doubt with a little practice, and more experimentation I can make these plates work in some way, I think the unpredictability of them will make for a frustrating printing session.  I would perhaps pull the paper away more with dread than anticipation! Perhaps if I scale back my expectations I might be OK with it, but is that really what you want to do when being arty?  Expect less so you aren’t disappointed?

Why does this plate perform this way?  It FEELS different.  The surface is …firmer, I guess, and it doesn’t have nearly the give in it the Gelli plate does.  The thinness of it might be nice on one hand, but it works against it on another – when you press the paper to it you don’t feel that sense of yielding like you do with the Gelli.  I don’t think the recipe can be the same either, and I think that has to be the core reason why this was such a disappointment – it just doesn’t react with the paint the same way.   I had a lot of ideas for experimentation but the reality of it is that (as is so often the case) I, as a consumer, was lured initially by the slightly lower cost (I’ve seen them as low as about £14 ) initially, but seriously seduced by the thought I could chop it up.  In all other aspects I EXPECTED it to work just like my Gelli Plate did – and it didn’t.

So, to add to the I make the mistakes so you don’t have to …. list, I’ve tried the Creative Palette so you don’t have to. But if you have, and had a better experience with yours, please, do share.