As a mixed printmaker, I like to combine techniques to make unique prints. I also like to use non-toxic methods that do not require a printing press.
One way I use a relief plate is to lift ink off of the gelatin plate. It gives you a monochromatic impression on the plate, that can then be printed on to paper. In the print above, I used the relief plate to make the impression in the ink on the gelatin plate and then I printed the impression on to paper and collaged it into a small book.
The second way I like to use relief plates is to directly stamp a focal image on to a mixed media print. The black figure is a carve relief plate and was printed several times in 2 different directions to create the focus of this print.
The third way is to repeated print the plate to create a patterned background, or a textural layer. In the fabric print above, I used 9 different relief plates to create this textile print. There are 3 layers of printing, a yellow, an orange and the dark orange on top that unifies the whole print.
If you would like to explore the making and use of relief plates then check out the details of the Soft Plate Relief Printing class that starts July 11th. This is a short, fun summer class.