Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gocco Process

There was a time a few years back that I had no idea what gocco was, and was very curious how the sellers on Etsy I was buying from were making these prints called gocco. So, I thought I'd share a little bit about my printing process. Now, mind you most of the work that goes into my prints happens before this point- research on a place, trying to find the right mix of romance and city views, deciding how to draw different elements (don't even get me started on how many tries that Chicago fountain took to get kinda right), etc. This is the bit that happens once I've totally decided on the image, have printed it out with carbon based ink (I always use a laser printer- I find it to be more reliable than copy machines, but that varies from person to person), and have exposed it onto a screen (I forgot to take pics of that bit- but I'm printing a few more prints next week so perhaps I'll post some from that run).

Also, these pictures are not from my studio where I usually print. These are from my day job office conference room. I print here when the boss is out of town. That way, I can use my time most effectively (since there usually isn't a ton for me to do when he's out of town except answer the phone- and as you can see, there is a phone and message pad right next to the drying rack). Also, something about this room makes my prints turn out better. I don't know what it is- perhaps it's the humidity level that keeps the screen from drying out, or it's more ventilated, I dunno, something. Or, it could be that I don't tend to sing along with my ipod at the top of my lungs here since there are other offices above ours who get kinda stompy when they're annoyed about our noise levels. I suspect when I sing a lot, as I do at my home studio (cause I figure, Dev's been with me 11 years now. He was fully aware of my cruddy singing voice for the 6 years before we were married, so he had plenty of time to run for the hills. Now he's legally obligated to listen to it), it dries the ink on the screen out faster. Or at least that's my working theory. Anyway, here are the photos!

Here's our conference room printing studio, complete with one of my stained glass windows I made in college in the background,and my beloved drying rack.
Here's one of my gocco machines. This one is newer, and I use it for exposing the screens since it seems to work better for that. I also have a PG-10 with a movable platform that I use to print the moleskines on.
Here is the exposed screen that I've inked already. I draw those little guide lines on there for when a design has a few different parts that don't need ink, and I want to be able to have an idea of what part of the screen needs to be reinked when all the ink is mushed together and I can't see what parts are what anymore. If that makes any sense.
Here's the inked screen loaded onto the gocco and ready to print.
Press the top part down onto the paper for a second or two...
...and voila, print! I add the red umbrellas later.
..and then repeat. A lot.

Hope that shed a little light on how I make these prints for those of you that aren't familiar with the gocco process. I'm hoping to have Richmond, springtime NYC, and Quebec ready in the next week or so. Then I'll probably move on to Paris 2, St. Louis, Alexandria VA, Sydney, and London 2!

Also, I bought a sewing machine yesterday that my mom is teaching me to now I can finally actually hem my curtains instead of using tape! Yay!


Anonymous said...

Wonderful, wonderful work. I had no idea how it was done, so thank you.
I hope some day you get to do one of the Toronto skyline and maybe Quebec City...two great cities in my country. Love, love your work.

Art Shark Designs said...

Thank you! Funny you should ask about Quebec City- I'm working on it right now! I visited Quebec last year and just loved it. I'm hoping to have it finished and in the shop in the next few weeks.

Anonymous said...

I really impressed, I didn't think that you can do something like that. The thing that impressed me the most.- It is the ink. You put the ink with some guides. It turns from a shapeless liquid to an impressive city design. If you want to impress you can use General Viagra