Wednesday’s Weekly Reader: Printmaking in Small Spaces

So I had a lot of fun things that popped up in my feed this past week, but thought I’d share some resources instead. You see, I’m getting ready to print my Christmas cards this Sunday, so I thought it might be nice to share a bit on how I’m going to do it before I post my process post on the card itself.

Using Gocco for Screen Printing
For two of the screens/layers of the card, I’ll be screen printing. When I graduated from college a couple of years ago, I was really bummed to lose access to our awesome Print Lab. It’s a little hard to screen-print something as large as the poster my friend, Robyn, is working on below (BEFORE) when you have to do it in your apartment. Then I found Gocco (AFTER):
Printing with the Gocco makes it a ton easier to screenprint at home.

Obviously, I won’t ever be doing anything as big as Robyn’s poster unless I do it in sections, but I really don’t need to. And with the Gocco, I don’t have to worry about emulsion or power washers or table space: the unit exposes the screen and prints the image. On the downside, they’ve discontinued making them and their supplies. However, I believe that between all the resourceful gocco-ers out there, we’ll find alternatives. Below are some of the resources that I’ve found really helpful in learning how:

  • Gocco Flickr Group (the discussion threads are particularly helpful)
  • Gocco-Printers Yahoo Group (Joining this is a must: an excellent way to locate supplies, get expert help, or download templates, etc.)
  • NEHOC Australia (all instructions given in English, as well as a list of produced supplies/accessories)
  • DIYLife’s Gocco article (although some of these links are now broken, it still has great info on where to find supplies/tutorials/etc.)
  • Celestina Carmen (Good inspiration and awesome tips: thanks for sharing your expertise, Tina!)

Relief Printing by Hand
For the relief plate, I’m working on a linocut that I will then print at home. This should be relatively easy as I printed most of the Incidents Among the Savages illustrations at home. I actually came across a really good How-To for creating and printing linoleum cuts at home via Coudal’s feed today. The National Gallery of Canada has a little microsite up for their exhibition of Albrecht Dürer’s prints. (While there, be sure to check out the Gallery of Dürer’s work: he is near the top, if not THE top, of my favorite artists of all time. His attention to detail in his engravings/prints is just mind-boggling.)

Courtesy of NGC

To locate the tutorial, click “Looking Forward” under Dürer’s name and then select “Linocut Printmaking: How To” to view. Each step is accompanied by a photo and instructions. However, rather than printing using my fist, I generally rub the paper with either the back of a wooden spoon or a baren. Since I’m printing at home, I plan on using the water-based block-print ink rather than oil based. I perfer oil, but have had a hard time finding the variety in color that I need at local stores, and figure the water-based will make clean up easier anyways. (Besides, some people don’t like that oil-based inks are toxic…)