Gel Press Printing Media
Our artists have used a variety of media successfully on the Gel Press plate.
We have seen incredible prints with everything from Tempera Paints to Oil Pigment Sticks.
Acrylic paints are the most popular medium of choice. If you prefer to have more time to work with your media you can add a retarder, glaze or open medium to your paint, but this is not necessary.
Our Gel Press surface is engineered to release the media, so even fast-drying media, such as metallic acrylic colors and alcohol-based inks can be used in conjunction with a medium to ‘pickup’ your print.
Certain colors of Alcohol Ink in the bright yellows and greens may stain your Gel Press Plate but please note that it does not affect the performance of the plate itself.
The key to media selection is that if you can wash the media off the plate with materials you would use to clean your hands – then it should work well on the plate.
Gel Press Printing Surfaces
Any surface that is smooth works best for capturing the most detail.
The more textured the surface, the more primitive the print.
The only surface we strongly suggest you avoid is photography papers. The emulsion on these papers can separate and stick to the plate and may damage the surface permanently.
Gel Press Storage
We do not recommend storing the plates with the Mylar sheets that come with them. These are simply part of the post-manufacturing process and can be discarded after first use. Remove the product insert, and store your Gel Press plate in the clamshell packaging.
Storing your plate flat will lead to less weight on the surface and therefore less chance of having a trapped air bubble create a noticeable indentation.
Does your plate already have indentations in it?
Don’t worry. It is quite common and not a defective plate; but how it is reacting to changes in its environment. The bubbles aren’t in the plate; but at the surface, as air becomes trapped between the Mylar sheets and the plate; which creates indentations.
This sometimes occurs in areas of high altitude / low pressure or when a plate is shipped and transitioning to/from an area with these conditions to another nearer to sea level.
It also happens when items are stacked on top of the plate (another reason we like to store them upright!); or if the Mylar sheets were replaced and an air bubble was trapped underneath.
Here is the best way to fix it.
We have found that placing the clean plate between two sheets of smooth copy paper on a smooth non-porous surface (such as a glass table), and taking care to place the paper on top without trapping air bubbles; then putting a larger item, such as a book on top, for a couple of days – tends to remove any unwanted artifacts from the surface.
The copy paper tends to pull out the oil and ‘plump’ up the surface again. But it shouldn’t be stored this way long term because it would continue to do so.
Thereafter we still recommend storing upright, in its original packaging, and without the Mylar sheets. Once they are removed, they should be discarded.
Gel Press Cleaning
Acrylic and most other paints can be cleaned off with soap and water or baby wipes.
Oil Pigment Sticks can be cleaned off with a drop of baby oil, and wiped from the surface.
Alcohol Inks can be removed with a bit of gel hand sanitizer.
Clean your plate and pat dry with a lint-free cloth before storing.