Tuesday, June 26, 2007
First prints drying
I decided to take a deep breath, overcome my fears, and make my first Gocco prints last night. How stinking fun it was! Nerve-wracking, but fun.
First, here's a quick recap how it works: You take a drawing, put it in the machine with two new bulbs, press down, it flashes and burns the image onto the master screen. You squeeze some ink onto the master screen, put that back into the machine, add your paper you want to print on, and then again press down. Peel off your print and put in the drying rack. Repeat for as many prints as you want to make, or until it's time to reload the ink. That's it basically!
(This Youtube video shows the process best, I thought. And it doesn't hurt that I really got into the accompanying music.)
My first print was an experiment. I wanted to know what drawing tools will work best. Each bird is done with a different tool. Turns out, all of them worked perfectly well!
I made my drawing on the regular paper I use for my printer, and then made my prints on different colors of cardstock sheets that I cut to a 4 X 5.5" size (the cardstock comes fifty 8 1/2 X 11" multi-colored sheets to a package -- basically cardstock is upgraded construction paper).
I used only black ink, but you can use multiple colors in one printing by simply squeezing your various colors on the screen, as in that video link. Or -- for even more professional effects, like in the squirrel I linked to before -- you can make multiple master screens burning different parts of the same image for layering your print colors. In that case, you have to worry about "registration," meaning getting the subsequent prints to align properly with the first printing. For my first time, I decided to go really simple. I did, however, play with Katlynn's new watercolors on one of the finished prints just for fun as you can see above. ;)
By the way, the ink is pretty staining stuff and you should probably not use your dining room table unprotected as I did. I got some on the wood, and it took some elbow grease with soap and water to get it off before it dried. Still, it's a surprisingly un-messy process.
Interestingly, I think the prints get better as it goes along -- see the bottom left bird's eye and the bottom right bird's legs for what I mean. I made 24 prints, but I could have made at least that many more with the one load of ink. Unlike the guy in the video, I didn't smear the ink with a paint brush first. I believe he was doing that for its blended effect.
I thought it would take a long time to dry, but maybe because these are line drawings -- rather than big areas of filled in ink -- it took not more than an hour to be dry to the touch.
The master print can be cleaned and used again. I'm trying another method I read about. I didn't clean it (there's still lots of ink on it), but rather put it in a ziplock baggie and am storing it in the fridge. Supposedly, I'll be able to take it out later and use it again, not wasting any time cleaning or sending any ink down the drain.
Here's some close ups of the drawing and prints:
Oh my! What fun I plan to have with this baby.
Labels: Photo a Day