An alternative method of creating screens and ink for your Print Gocco as materials become harder to find.
Step 1: Expose Your Screen
The process is based around a product called StencilPro. It is similar to photoEZ which many of you have heard of, but prints at a better quality and has a longer shelf life. Only use the high-res StencilPro version for gocco, all the other products have a mesh grade too low to get good prints.
Step one: Follow the instructions that came with your StencilPro to expose your screen. There are several different ways to expose your screen. I have found that the best method out of the options they offer is to print your image on a transparency and expose your screen in sunlight. You can print the transparency on an inkjet printer or a laser, you are not constricted to using laser like you are with gocco screens. It is nearly as fast as burning a gocco screen, just 30-45 seconds. Rinse your screen and let it dry, a few minutes will do. If you are impatient, I have found that a hairdryer speeds up the process.
Tip: I use an exposure frame from EzScreenPrint that costs about 8.00. I think the ones on the circuit bridge website are larger and more expensive. Here is the one I use: http://ezscreenprint.com/photoezminiexposureframes.aspx
Step 2: Create a Frame
Step two: Make a frame to hold your screen in the gocco. I am lucky enough to live above a frame shop and have access to an automated mat cutter, although for my first test I cut an old box to the size I needed.
Tip: If cutting up old boxes isn't your thing, you can purchase these %100 recycled pre-cut frames from me on my blog here.
Step 3: Attach Your Screen to the Frame
Step three: Attach your screen to the frame. Of everything I've tried, tape is the best. I like to conserve my StencilPro, and this method allows me to just use the amount that I need and fill in the empty space on the screen with tape. Use masking, painters, or silkscreening tape.
Tip: Be sure to tape the front and pack of the screen to prevent ink from pooling around the edges when you print.
Step 4: Attach Transparency Film
Step four: Attach transparency film to your frame. I use just regular transparency film from office depot, the type that you would use on an overhead projector. Really any type of smooth flexible plastic will work, such as gift wrapping cellophane. Secure at the top with tape.
Step 5: Ink & Print
Step Five: Ink your screen. This time around I used Gocco ink, but have found that block printing ink mixed with just the tiniest amount of oil paint (optional) works good enough as well.
Step Six: Slide into your gocco and print.
Step 6: Rinse and Reuse
Step Six: Rinse and reuse. My favorite part of using this method is that you can rinse and reuse these screens again and again. Simply detach from the frame, wash, and dry per the StencilPro instructions.
There you have it! A little more involved than the gocco screens, to be sure. Think of trying this method as learning to gocco all over again. Your first gocco prints were probably not your best. But you got the hang of the medium and soon you were consistently making good prints.
I have been using this method for a long time since I read of the health hazards of the gocco bulbs and wanted to gocco while pregnant. I have been happy with the results. The fact that you can reuse the screens makes the whole process worth while to me. Happy printing!
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Step 7: Donate
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