Gelli printing


Gelli printing is a type of mono printing using a gelatin plate and has opened up a new style of work for me which I can print onto fabric or paper.

I collect vegetation from my garden such as flowers and leaves, or wild grasses from country walks. Once back in my studio they are used to print with to produce one- off, bespoke images of natures beauty.

It is always a pleasure when you lift the fabric to see what outline has been achieved and whether you have used the right amount of paint. After several prints I add touches of embroidery on the surface by hand and machine, to highlight certain aspects of the image that draws the eye.

I use mainly satin stitch and running stitch on the machine and fly stitch, blanket stitch, chain stitch and herringbone stitch by hand. I am slowly building up my repertoire of stitches to involve more complicated ones, such as closed fly stitch and double feather stitch to impress.


Here is all the equipment you need to Gelli print. The small square on the right is my small gelatin plate with my roller on top. To the left is some work I have recently done of vine leaves and my wood blocks and iron-on transfers close by. My paints and acrylic converting medium which converts acrylics into fabric paint are standing at the ready in the background.

As you can see here, the strip of paper on top of the printed fabric is an old iron-on transfer dating from the 1930's. Sometimes they iron well and other times give a faint line. Either way they add an extra detail which is different. I collect my iron-on transfers from the Knitting and Stitching Show every November when it comes to Harrogate.

Dan Spencer