Gelli Plate Printing for Monoprint by Katherine Jones


‘Gelli’ plate print reveal



Three key points:
• Avoid using sharp objects on the plates
• Clean the plate after use as instructed
• Place back in original packaging to store cleaned plate for your next project!

Important cleaning note – plate cleaning materials: Avoid using white spirit to clean the plate; instead smooth sheets of scrap paper, newspaper etc over the surface until any remaining ink has lifted off. Cleaning with white spirit will degrade the surface of the plate. If using water based ink you can wash the plate with water and mild detergent.

I am very excited to try using these plates too. They seem to have enormous potential for a variety of very exciting off press outcomes. A big thank you to Katherine Jones for introducing and writing this project for the Rabley Printmakers.

Introduction Katherine Jones

Gelli Plates are amazingly effective and pick up even the most sensitive detail. They are ideal for making monotype-style images without a press and are malleable, allowing you to print onto all sorts of materials including paper, fabric and even rigid surfaces like wood or cardboard.


• Gelli plate (on loan from RDC)
• Paper (any)
• Roller – any size or hardness
• Glass or flat surface (a large ceramic tile is good)
• Printmaking ink (relief or intaglio, oil or water based)
• Brushes – Something to thin ink for painting – For oil based ink use thin plate oil or a small amount of white spirit can be used if necessary.
• Leaves, feathers, string or alternative to use for printing

‘Gelli’ Plate Printmaking for Monotype – Part 1


1. Remove ‘Gelli’ plate from packaging and remove protective acetate film (keeping the film for storage of your plate).

2. Roll out ink very thin and even onto your surface and transfer onto the plate. The ink often takes a few rolls to stick properly.

3. Arrange leaves onto the inked surface.

4. Cover with paper and smooth the paper firmly over the surface of the plate.

5. Gently pull away the paper to reveal the print.

6. Turn the leaves or flowers over and place down on the plate without re-inking.

7. Take a new piece of paper and push down firmly again.

9. The result will be the ghost image (second passing) of the leaves and the silhouette.

Idea 2 – Monoprint and Ghost Monoprint

‘Gelli’ Plate Printmaking – Part 2

1. Roll ink out again and use a dry rag to remove the ink.

2. You can also paint directly onto the plate using thinned ink to make positive marks.

3. When your image is complete place paper over the plate and smooth over with your hand. Gently pull back the paper to reveal your print.

4. You can quickly develop a sequence of images using the trace of the last print to inform the next.

4. Again you can take a ghost print of the plate (second passing)

6. To clean the plate – smooth sheets of scrap paper, newspaper etc. over the surface rather than cleaning with white spirit, which will degrade the surface of the plate.


‘Gelli’ Plate and general print supplies

General print supplies: Ink, drypoint plastic, paper, tools, rollers etc.

Download worksheet

Table top Print Projects have been written by the Rabley Drawing Centre tutors for Rabley printmakers. They are free for anyone to use and we have included useful supplier links. All images and texts are copyright of Rabley Drawing Centre CIC and the authors. We plan to launch have new project each Monday for the coming weeks.

Card Printing by Nik Pollard


Card Printing. The print (left) and the card plate (right)


Card printing is a simple inexpensive method of printmaking that can be used alone to make simple designs/images or combined with other printmaking or painting processes. The basic nature of this printmaking process allows it to be easily adapted and developed to create a range of results. It can be used as a bridge between drawing and printmaking.


  • Card (provided) or cereal packets
  • Ball-point pen
  • Rollers x 2
  • Wooden spoon
  • Ink


1. Draw your image/design on the white side of the card (when using a cereal packet, the printed side).

2. Add further marks to your image/design using a ball-point pen – pressing hard! This is important as the pen will create a groove that, when printed, will produce a negative line.

3. The next stage is cutting out the image/design. It is important to remember that the cut edge is itself a part of the design. You can either: faithfully follow your drawn lines; cut the card into a different shape around the image/design – or a combination of both.

4. Ink the card plate using a roller, taking care not to damage it, especially if your image/design has any intricate pieces. The ink does not necessarily have to be applied evenly; this is equally a part of the creative process as the initial drawing itself.

Note: At this point you can see the negative lines. Any that have filled in can be re-drawn using the ball-point pen.

5. With the ink side facing upwards, carefully place the paper on to the card plate. Hold in position with one hand whilst burnishing/rubbing the back of the paper. For this, a roller, wooden spoon or the ball-point pen can be used – each will produce a different result.

Note: Throughout this stage it is a good idea to have a look now and then, to check how the print is transferring, remembering to keep one hand holding the paper in position.

Further Information and Suggestions

o The weight of the paper that you choose to use can vary, bearing in mind that thicker paper requires more pressure when hand burnishing.
o Instead, or as well as the roller, a brush can be used to apply the ink to the card plate. The brush marks add another dynamic that works well as a foil to the cut edge of the plate.


General print supplies: Ink, drypoint plastic, paper, tools, rollers etc:

Download Documents

Table top Print Projects have been written by the Rabley Drawing Centre tutors for Rabley printmakers. They are free for anyone to use and we have included useful supplier links. All images and texts are copyright of Rabley Drawing Centre CIC and the authors. We plan to launch have new project each Monday for the coming weeks.


More brilliant prints from Rabley Printmaking students – keep making and sharing!


Plaster Bandage Cast for Intaglio and Monoprint Printing by Meryl Ainslie

An inked drypoint plate and a plaster bandage cast print.
Inked drypoint plate (left) and plaster bandage cast print (right)


Plaster bandage or ‘modrock’ will take print into the surface of the plaster from an inked intaglio, drypoint or monotype plate using oil based inks. This is a great method for printing a plate without a press.


  • Drypoint/monotype plate for making image (supplied)
  • Plaster bandage (supplied)
  • Oil based printing ink
  • Scrim (supplied)
  • 1cm of water in a shallow dish
  • plastic sheet or tray to work on

*do not wash plaster down your sink as it will block the drain!!


1. Make your image onto the drypoint plate (not shown) – this could be either a monotype or a drypoint, or a combination of both.

2. Ink the plate ready for printing as you would if you were using an etching press.

drypoint plate – inked and ready for plaster cast printing

3. Place your printing plate onto a plastic sheet

4. Put water into a tray and dip a piece of the bandage quickly into the water, shake off drips.

5. Lay bandage onto the plate and smooth.

6. Add a second layer of bandage in the same way and smooth and gently cream the plaster with your fingertips.

7. Leave to set for at least 30 minutes without disturbing.

8. 30 minutes later

9. Gently lift the plastic plate away from the plaster print

10. Leave to dry.

Further Information & Suggestions

• Use coloured inks when inking up the plate.
• The dry plaster surface of the print can be gently sanded to remove areas or alter the image.
• Draw onto your print with a pencil or crayon – the smooth plaster is a lovely surface.
• Add 3D elements to your plate before printing with plasticine – these will cast indented shapes or patterns.


Modrock – plaster of paris bandage

General print supplies: Ink, drypoint plastic, paper, tools, rollers etc.

Download worksheet

Table top Print Projects have been written by the Rabley Drawing Centre tutors for Rabley printmakers. They are free for anyone to use and we have included useful supplier links. All images and texts are copyright of Rabley Drawing Centre CIC and the authors. We plan to launch have new project each Monday for the coming weeks.


We’ve had an amazing response to our first table-top project. Thank you everyone who participated and shared their experience. Here are a few photos of students’ fantastic table-top creations…

Table Top Project 1 – Student Slideshow – Plaster Bandage Cast for Intaglio and Monotype



Hi Printmakers

In the spirit of keeping connected, happy and making the team at RABLEY DRAWING CENTRE Amy Jane Blackhall, Nik Pollard and Meryl Ainslie have put together a plan!

We have devised 6 Tabletop Print Projects for our regular Rabley Printmakers and we thought it would be welcomed to make these live and free to everyone! – so follow this blog and our instagram #rableydrawingcentre to keep posted and connected!

There will be a new project each Monday for the next six weeks. We hope that you will enjoy them, they are just for fun and to introduce a few new ideas to keep your practice fresh and lively! We have had fantastic support from Sara Lee, Katherine Jones and Sadie Tierney, who are all going to make contributions over the coming weeks.

Each workshop will include an introduction, materials, demonstration videos, suppliers links. Printmakers will already have many items in the studio or kitchen!

Planning the Rabley Table Top Print Projects

Lucy Farley – New Artist in Residence at Rabley Drawing Centre 2020

Lucy Farley in the studio at Rabley Drawing Cemte, February 2020

Meryl Ainslie, Director of Rabley Drawing Centre in conversation with Lucy Farley, their new artist in residence 2020. Lucy will be working at Rabley Drawing Centre  during four visits throughout the year.

Lucy Farley is a painter and printmaker, she researches the stories that underpin a place and inspire her work. She has a Danish mother and English father. She recalls the dark and spooky Nordic tales her Grandmother told her as a child. And here her story starts…

Lucy Farley Savernake series proof 2
Lucy Farley Savernake series proof 3

“I didn’t know about the Savernake Forest before I came here. There was a random connection from an Australian friend who told me about the stories and legends of the Forest. So I started to draw from these ideas about the ‘headless horse woman’ of the forest. I made lithographs at London Print Studio, printed onto Japanese paper and  working with a horse shape. These are some of the collaged elements I have been using in the print studio at Rabley. 

There is an eye in the oak in the forest called the king of limbs’ – this motif has also inhabited the images this week. Back in my London studio I will be editing and making  more research and reading and readying for my next exciting visit.

Being in the Rabley studio there is a connection to landscape. I can see the edge of the Savernake Forest out of the window. It’s a stark contrast to my London Studio and a breathing space, calming and vast. It is so quiet – I can mull the questions without interruption.” LF Feb 2020

Lucy making the most of the space and studios at Rabley – she will also being inspiring others along the way…..

She will be returning throughout the year  – follow our blog or instagram @rableydrawingcentre

Works in progress include a series of collages 

Video of Lucy printing her first proofs coming soon!

London Art Fair 22-26 January 2020

22-26 January 2020


View our London Art Fair listing

New works on paper by

Eileen Cooper RA Sisters 2019 Charcoal and pastel on paper 102 x 89 cm (40 x 35 ins)

Eileen Cooper RA

Peter Randall Page RA

Rebecca Salter RA

Emma Stibbon

Sara Lee

Nicholas Lees

Prudence Ainslie

Neil Bousfield

Ian Chamberlain

Katherine Jones

Sally Taylor

More Information on ARTSY

Nicholas Lees Blue Floating Bowls 2020 Porcelain
13 x 12.5 cm (5 x 5 ins)

For fair tickets and gallery enquiries please contact Meryl Ainslie


T   01672 511999  M 07967545136 (during fair)

London Art Fair Information:



Business Design Centre

52 Upper Street

London N1 0QH


T: +44 (0)20 7288 6736


#londonartfair #rableygallery #collectart #worksonpaper #drawing 


LONG WEEKEND FOLIO SALE – 10% Discount on folio prints

5-8 December

Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 11 – 4

Please join us this weekend for our winter ARTMAS folio sale of prints by our favourite Rabley artists including:
Neil Bousfield, Ian Chamberlain, Eileen Cooper RA, Naomi Frears, Tom Hammick, Katherine Jones, Sara Lee, Peter Randall-Page RA, Rebecca Salter RA, Sandy Sykes, Nana Shiomi, Sadie Tierney. 

Our current exhibition Emma Stibbon, Territories  of Print 1994–2019 continues in the gallery until 21 Dec.

New Publication £30

Meryl Ainslie
Director, Rabley Drawing Centre
Email or tel. 01672 511999