Monday, 1 September 2014

Gelli Print Journal

OK, so you invested in a Gelli Plate and had hours of fun making your own prints - but what do you do with the hundreds of monoprints you created? You can, of course, use them as collage material in your projects, but that still leaves you with loads of prints lying around. And some of them, let's admit it, are just too good to cut into pieces!

I contemplated this dilemma following my recent rampage with my Gelli Plate. I think the idea of turning them into a journal came about when I selected some of my favourite prints for safekeeping. I was holding a stack of them in my hands and as I was leafing through them, I thought: wouldn't it be nice to bind them into a journal?  But how? I wish I could give you precise step-by-step instructions on how to do this, but the truth is I bodged it. Yes, I'm not ashamed to admit it.

If you want to know how to bodge it, please read on - otherwise skip straight to the photos! I first cut the excess white margins off the gelli prints, except on one of the shorts sides, which was going to be the spine. Next, I glued two pages together back to back, making sure that the white margins on the short sides lined up. I used 24 gelli prints to make 12 pages. Then I cut two pieces of cardboard (out of recycled Amazon packaging) to make the covers, which I covered with Gelli prints front and back on both sides.

The next bit is tricky and this is where your bodging ability comes in handy. You have to glue the white margins of the Gelli prints together so that the sheets roughly line up with each other and then add the covers in a way that allows you to open the journal flat. This is not easy, but it can be done. I used an extra piece of cardboard to make a spine and glued it to the front and back covers. Then I glued the stack of Gelli Prints to the back cover along the white strip that I left as a margin. I hid the joints of the cover and the spine behind some washi tape.  Let it dry overnight, otherwise it will just fall apart, but make sure that the pages can be turned and lie flat when open. I hope one of these days I'll come up with a better solution. Perhaps stitching would be better, but for now the glue holds quite well.

Once you've got your journal bound, you can stamp, paint, doodle and journal on your prints. I find it very satisfying that I can carry my journal around as it is very tactile. What I love about this project, is that it's all mine: my own background, my own stamps (except the alphabet), my own doodles - nothing is shop bought other than the paints and pens, of course. I'm halfway through filling up the journal, experimenting with patterns and doodles. I work on it whenever I get a chance, just a few minutes each day.  It's great for trying out your new home-made stamps!

Have a look at some of my pages below.  I've doodled so much that I used up all the ink in my Uni Posca pens, so I had to get some new ones! Doodling is such a fun activity and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone suffering from stress, anxiety or even depression. It is very calming and therapeutic. Please let me know what you think in the comments!

Front cover with washi tape along the spine

You can see that the binding is  a bit crude

Inside of the front cover

The pages lie flat

On the left is a "virgin" gelli print, the right hand one has been doodled on.
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