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.

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


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 Original Print Fair 2019 – MONOPRINTS – Katherine Jones

25th – 28th April 2019

During the coming weeks I will be highlighting the artists and the monoprints we will be exhibiting at the London Original Print Fair in April 2019. For more information about the work of Katherine Jones or visiting the London Original Print Fair please contact the gallery  – email  

Rabley Gallery will be exhibiting new works focusing on monoprints. The quality of these prints brings a fresh vibe to the artworks and offers a more unique and experimental field of play for the collector and for the artist as they develop series of imagery. The monoprint, unlike the monotype, is one of a series, so it is not completely unique. Monoprints are often thought of as variations on one theme.


Monoprints and Collagraph & Block Prints

Katherine Jones ‘Cumulus’ Monoprints V-VIII, 2019 20.5 x 17cm

Continue reading

Sadie Tierney – New Prints for the London Original Print Fair

We have three wonderful new woodcut prints from Sadie Tierney available at this year’s London Original Print Fair at The Royal Academy of Arts. In Sadie Tierney’s new woodcuts and watercolours the anticipated excitement of the voyage radiates from the gloaming as ships head out of port reflecting on the sea.

Sadie Tierney
‘Into the Gloaming’ 2017
50 x 75 cm
Edition 2/10

Continue reading

Tom Cartmill – New Print Edition for The London Original Print Fair

Tom Cartmill was winner of the SKETCH 2017, Rabley Print Edition Prize and we are delighted to present his new publication ‘A Fragment’ at the London Original Print fair. This work is the culmination of the project that has enabled him to translate his beautiful drawing into an intaglio print.

Tom Cartmill, A Fragment 2018, Intaglio, 46.5 x 57.5 cm, Edition of 25, £325

The ‘Fragment Series’, with clear connotations of remnants, remains, what has been left, references the fact that by its nature our memories, our understanding of people, places, concepts are far from complete. However much we toil in our understanding, or how adeptly we master skills, we do not achieve completeness. The nature of working as an artist is necessarily a searching, a piecing together, a process of discovery from uncertain territory. Notions that Cartmill finds ‘encapsulated in a fragment’. “I often have in mind TS Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets’ where in East Coker he dwells on the nature of creativity as an endless working towards recovering ‘what has been lost'”.

Continue reading