Reflection and Revised 5.3 Printed Samples

 REFLECTION on initial Project 5.3 

I have first analysed the work I have done for the initial Project 5.3  Part 5 Project 3 Experimenting and Taking Risks and noted that I worked with the following techniques:

Back Printing on fabric – Samples 2B, 3.4, 4.1 and 8

Painting on fabric– Sample 8

Inktense blocks on fabric – Samples 5, 6

Gelliprinting – Samples 2A, 3.1, 4.2

Monoprinting using laminated paper – on fabric – Sample 3.2

Hand printing – Samples 2C, 3.2

Rubbing – Sample 1

Reflecting on this initial Part 5.3 I see that I have used too many techniques with little extending of the sampling.  This means that I lacked depth in my experimenting and fallen back on what I have done before unlike Part 5 Project 1 where I extended my sampling on Georgia O’Keeffe .  This is consistent with my  Tutor’s Feedback on the lack of a large number of samples to chose from to take my work forward into the Textile Capsule samples.

Relooking at my work for initial 5.3 I reflected that my work is not organised as well as it could be.  I did not have a structured way to undertake the experimental samples and this is why I think I ended up using superficially so many techniques.  I also had no consistent approach to evaluating or reflecting on the samples.  I could improve my links/joins to previous work too and my labelling of samples too.


I am redoing my Samples for 5.3 using a limited number of techniques in much more depth with the intention of producing a large number of samples.  This revised approach  assists me with being more experimental and inventive – to push the boundaries, make discoveries. I will reflect on my experience thinking about how I could take the ideas forward, build on what I have done, what I could do differently.  I will then select the best samples to assist me in developing my new Textile Capsule.



I bought a Gelli Plate which has a unique surface for mono printing without a press.  It is a simple process whereby you apply paint to the plate and roll with a soft rubber brayer. It is possible to make your own gelatine plate too but the advantage of the Gelli Plate is that it can be used over and over again whereas the homemade gelatine plate breaks up (producing some interesting effects though).

Following my analysis above  I have decided for these revised samples to concentrate on the Gelli Plate printing for Project 5.3. and Stitched Samples (in a separate blog post).

My Goal

  • Freedom to Play
  • Build on Experience
  • Experiment
  • Have an adventurous spirit
  • Make discoveries


The Equipment used is:

Gelli Plate A4 size

Palette paper to mix colour using the brayer


Water Bottle

Paper or Fabric

Textile Printing Ink (Permaset)

The Mark Making Tools include:

Stencil and Masks

Subtractive items to remove paint from the plate

Additive tools to coat with wet paint and press onto the Gelli Plate

Gelli Plate                                         Permaset Textile Ink and a brayer

What I did

I took time to select a vary of fabrics to use in the printing this included pfd kona cotton, cotton organza, cheesecloth, light lutrador, tissutex.  I did not use canvas as I had in my initial 5.3 samples as I wanted to achieve a softer effect.  I cut out the fabric samples to the size of the A4 Gelli Plate.  I made some stamps using cardboard and sticky foam and sponge.

Stamps – cardboard and adhesive foam.  The shapes inspired by

bouganvillea bush.


Stamp adhesive foam    Plastic grid     Sponge bouganvillea petal and leaf


What I learnt

I was disappointed with the vibrancy of the textile ink transfer to the fabrics in some cases.  The subtlety does not show as well in photographs for the semi sheer fabrics which is frustrating.  I liked the way the layering gives more interest and possibilities to the fabrics.  The fabrics create ideas for stitch or collage.  I learnt it is important to be organised with the fabrics ready and my printing table set out with all I need in advance.

I found that it was best to apply textile ink with a foam brayer to the handmade adhesive foam stamps before printing as opposed to rolling out the ink and placing the adhesive stamp in and then printing.

The time put into making stamps, stencils and finding recycled materials to use for mark making is well worth the time and effort in advance.  I liked the way the multi printed pieces worked (Samples 5.3.11, 5.3.12 and 5.3.15) using stamps and masks.

I tried a variety of fabrics, with the semi transparent including organza, light lutrador (which is a man made fabric), tissutex(strong paper) and a type of cheesecloth.  I also did a number of samples using pdf cotton.  I chose the pdf cotton to see if it improved the vibrancy of the colour transferred to the fabric but I do not think it made any difference and the paint did not sink into this cotton which is a high thread count primatex. The handle of the fabric was good with the textile ink which is an Australian product called Permaset it is not plastic like nor is it sticky.   I liked the effect that was achieved on the organza and lutrador it has reasonable colour retained on the surface and offers opportunities to be layered over thicker fabrics for interesting effects.

Based on my printing samples I think the mid to deeper tones work better with fabric using the gelliplate(samples 5.3.5, 5.3.6, 5.3.9 and 5.3.11) because they show up the layers better.

I also learnt that my subtle colour choices were not as well captured in photographs.  This is something I need to be aware of in the future when submitting work digitally to OCA.


Sample 5.3.1 handmade stamp       Sample 5.3.2 handmade stamp on

       on cheesecloth  – layered                                 on light lutrador – layered

            Sample 5.3.3 handmade stamp     Sample 5.3.4 handmade stamp

      on Tissutex paper layered                     on cotton organza layered

    Sample 5.3.5 handmade stamp     Sample 5.3.6 handmade stamp

   on pfd cotton  – layered                                on pfd cotton – layered

    5.3.7Mixed paint and stamps on  5.3.8 Mixed stamps and stencils on 

                fine latrador  multi layers             pfd cotton multilayers

                       5.3.9 sponge stamping on             5.3.10 sponge stamping and cord

    on pdf cotton layered                    on pdf cotton multilayered

 5.3.10 stamps              5.3.11 sponge leaves on pdf cotton – layers

       5.3.11 recycled plastic grate used   5.3.12 plastic circle part of old

  as stencil and sponge petal cotton          vacuum cleaner  pdf cotton

 Sample 5.3.13 petal sponge           Sample 5.3.14 ghost print

                    on pdf cotton multiple layers          on pdf cotton one layer

Print 2 3

Sample 5.3.15 multiple layers – plastic recoiled vacuum cleaner part, string on pdf cotton


I was curious to see how well the Gelli Plate worked with textiles (I have used with paper particularly Bank Paper very effectively) using textile printing ink.  I was very happy with the hand of the textile ink(Permaset) as stated above it was not plastic like nor sticky on the fabric.  I was less happy with the transfer of the ink to the fabric in several cases (Samples 5.3.14, 5.3.10 and 5.3.8 for example).  I think I did not use enough ink in these cases and I also think the Gelli Plate works better in the initial layering by placing the ink directly on the Plate and then brayering it rather than brayering on palette paper first and then using the brayer on the Plate.  I think the samples are a bit organic but this could offer opportunities as a background for further layering and stitch or collage.

In future I would like to do further work comparing mono printing on fabric using the same textile ink but using a plate made from a laminated piece of paper time does not permit me to continue with that for this sampling.  I wonder if the ink on the laminated paper will transfer more opaquely and not have the more interesting textured qualities of the Gelli Plate.

Did I achieve my Goal?

I had fun making the samples and built on my experience of working with a Gelli Plate.  I did not achieve wondrous works but I was happy with some samples and with the semi transparent samples.  I can see that there is tremendous advantage in keeping an organised Sample Book with notations.  This would be a valuable resource for future work.  It would force me to be more orderly in my approach and not rush ahead and then wonder how I achieved a particular outcome.  I do not think the prints are a completed work and therefore I am doing further samples using stitch on other materials still influenced by my tropical flower petals with the idea of melding the printing and stitch together in my revised Textile Capsule.


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