The Right Placement Tool for the Job by Mansi Bhatia

When GelliArts® launched the Perfect Placement Tool, I was giddy! Finally a way to get perfectly aligned prints without having to guess each time I put a new layer of color, stencils or masks on my gel plate. Ever since I got my hands on the Perfect Placement Tool, I’ve been making so many layered prints and I am happy to share my process with you today.

Why the Perfect Placement Tool is Indispensable

If you’ve ever tried color blocking on the gel plate, you’ll know that it’s very tricky to get the colors to overlap just right.  The Perfect Placement Tool makes that task really easy! Just use one color at a time on the gel plate, nestle the gel plate in the corner of the tool and align your paper using the adjustable grid blocks. I have always found it hard to layer colors on the gel plate because they inadvertently turn into mud…but using this technique, my colors always remained vibrant (when I wanted them to) and my patterns overlay perfectly as well. And when I wanted grungy layers, I was able to achieve that with ease, too.

Another advantage of using the Perfect Placement Tool is that you can rotate your paper and pick up color or patterns that will continue to remain within the parameters of the print. No more guesswork or poring over your gel plate trying to align it perfectly. It’s like magic! 

I don’t want to sound like an ad for the Perfect Placement Tool, but I am just so impressed by it that it’s hard not to sing its praises! I have been doing gel plate printing every day for the last three years and I have never before achieved the kinds of complex prints I share with you in this video. Some of these prints have 15 layers of colors and patterns!

I hope you’ll enjoy the video and appreciate all the layers in these stills. 

Turning Prints into Books

I like to make journals (or handmade books) with my prints and especially like to add positive affirmations. This book, for me, became a way to give myself permission to be…hence the cover images. I used the brayer sheets (paper I was rolling off excess paint from my brayer) for my endpapers (the part of the book that is attached to the chipboard cover), using the same feather as a mask. 

As for the positive affirmations, I printed them on copy paper, trimmed them using the same deckle edge trimmer, adhered them on top of the feather print and then used grated wax (from a candle) to make them translucent since I didn’t like the opacity of the paper hiding the feather print. 

The Philosophy Behind the Book

All of us are such complex beings (that one feather I use throughout the book is symbolic of that) and we often forget to give ourselves the same grace and the same love we give to others. We also often forget that it’s ok to question, to reject, to defy and to desire. This book serves as a reminder to give yourself permission to be and do all of these things…and more!

If you have any questions about my process, feel free to email me. I look forward to hearing your thoughts about this project.

See you next time,

Mansi.

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