Jelly Printing feathers and leaves Silhouette and Detailed prints

A Beginner’s Guide to Jelly Printing

Jelly print of leaves in greys and greens on light grey background

JELLY PRINTING?

If you have absolutely no idea about jelly printing, then you might like to read What Is Jelly Printing? first.

Jelly printing is ideal for anyone easily bored by repetition and enjoys creating and experimenting. It’s also a great introduction to printing for children because it’s quick and easy with no need for great precision or sharp cutting tools and suits their uninhibited attitude to art.

WHAT TOOLS DO I NEED FOR JELLY PRINTING?

If you want to try jelly printing, you need powdered gelatine, glycerine to make a jelly plate using these instructions. You’ll also need a roller and a palette for rolling out your ink. Water based relief or lino printing inks work best on the jelly plate as acrylic paints tend to dry out too quickly unless you add some medium.

FIRST STEPS IN JELLY PRINTING

The best way to start jelly printing is with simple shape stencils cut from a magazine cover. You need to ink your jelly plate, place your stencils and then lay you’re your paper. Follow our detailed instructions for making your first jelly prints here.

HOW DO I USE THE JELLY PRINTS?

Like any prints, jelly prints can be framed and hung on the wall. Jelly prints are also loved by mixed media artists, scrapbookers and bookmakers. Jelly printed paper is also used to make unique backgrounds for other forms of printmaking, like lino and screen printing and can be combined with drypoint printing to make each print individual.

When you have a pile of prints that you’re not sure how to use, try some of our creative ways to recycle scrap paper.

DEVELOPING YOUR JELLY PRINTING TECHNIQUE

Have fun! Experiment and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

Abandon perfectionism, embrace experimentation and enjoy the process.

Use different types of paper and print on maps and books.

Try different combinations of colour, ghost and silhouette prints. Keep reusing your stencils and plants to see how they retain the ink and add it to subsequent prints. Cut more complicated stencils and use them to build a picture. Lift the ink from the plate with stamping tools to add texture. Discover the detail you get from a ghost print of a leaf.

If you’d like to explore monoprinting with a jelly plate, join us at Slamseys for a Jelly Printing workshop where you can learn new techniques and develop your own style.

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