Monday, October 27, 2008

Gocco Printing

Happy MOnday Everyone! It's another gorgeously sunny, crisp Autumn morning here in Oregon. The trees are in beautiful colors. Love this weather. My etsy store has been bustling with sales. Thanks shoppers! I love making my unique goodies for everyone, and it's wonderful when so many find happy homes.

Which do you prefer?

I'm creating a line of screen-printed coffee cozies.....Sneak peek at the newest design I'm working on. It's Nessy! The Lochness Monster, of course. I've had a lifelong fascination for her.

Creating a design with the Gocco machine starts with sketches, then the final drawing done is carbon ink. It's put into the machine, press the handle and BAM! The silk screen is etched! I have developed a method using loose screening by the yard rather than the premade frames. So I take my newly etched screen and frame it with duct tape. This holds the image flat for inking, and allows the entire thing to be washed in the sink (water based fabric paint of course).

Just like creating the new Zombie coffee cozy, I start with an idea of what color I'd like to print it in, but it doesn't always work. I've learned the contrast needs to be high, or you just can't see it. Sounds simple, but it's a process of auditioning ink with fabric.

I was in the studio for a few hours yesterday, the hens and kittens enjoying the sunny afternoon outside my open door. I experimented with screen printing on linen (for upcoming holiday ornaments), and working with this Nessy print. I wanted to put the image over stitched waves, but it didn't work for me. Get simpler. I wanted a nice bright water color, but not so busy it would interfere with viewing the image. Which do you like?

I've spent the last year learning about screen printing with a Gocco Machine, and falling in love with it. In the 80's almost every Japanese household had one to print their own cards, napkins, invitations, etc. They caught on in the US by the 90's and artists and calligraphers were putting them to all sorts of unusual uses.

Gocco Machines are somewhat expensive to get into and the supplies can be expensive. About $300 to get all set up. After wanting one for a year, I found mine at Goodwill for $23, then found simpler supplies to use. The good news is that the Gocco is so EASY to use for small paper or fabric projects. I am using prints more and more in the studio. The bad news is that after Dec, supplies will no longer be shipped to the US. The makers of Gocco have decided to move on to other technologies. I heard a rumor that the Martha Stewart company looked into making something similar and didn't find enough profit margin. And Gocco will be no more, but some other technology is bound to crop up.

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