Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Gocco Workshop


If you follow me over on Instagram you will know that yesterday I went on a bit of an adventure, visiting Rochester in Kent to participate in a Print Gocco Workshop run by the uber talented Xtina Lamb who is part of the Medway Fine Printmakers. Held at Intra, which is a not for profit arts venue, giving members of the public access to art equipment usually only available to specialised artists. In addition to running open drop in style creative sessions, they also offer more specialised craft workshops, including ones using Print Gocco.

I have been a bit of a gocco fan since I bought some gocco printed postcards at a craft fair many years ago. I remember researching what this weird 'gocco' thing was, and being so intrigued that a little battery operated lump of plastic like that could be used to produce such beautiful artwork. As one of my goals for 2015 is to learn new things, I thought that 'using a print gocco' should be one of those things.


To start with Xtina showed us lots of examples of art created using a gocco printer, giving us ideas of what the gocco can do, and the effects you can acheive using it. She also talked about creating pieces using more than one screen, to further layer the colours.


 We looked at several different styles of gocco printers - they all work on the same principles, but there are a few versions which are all slightly different. Xtina talked us through the basic workings of a gocco, how to put it together, expose a screen, and then use that screen to print. She also showed us her incredible Screenfax thermofax machine, and gave us an insight into how this compares with a gocco.


My favourite part (obviously!)was choosing which colours of ink to use to print with! I ended up going for a pale pink as I wanted to include my prints with Valentines orders. Xtina has SO MANY inks in some really gorgeous shades, and I was impressed with the selection available. She also gave us some tips on other mediums we can use for printing with gocco as the inks are becoming increasingly difficult to buy now.


 The next step was to expose our screens using artwork we had brought with us. I used a design from one of my postcards and prints because I ran out of time to come up with something new (typical huh?!) In hindsight I wish I'd had something with a bit more detail to print as the gocco seems to love things that use lots of lines and detail, whereas my image was quite a large block of colour. But you live and learn, right....


 Finally it was on to the printing - as my piece had quite a large block of colour it proved a bit trickier to print, but I really enjoyed it! And once the screen is all inked up it's so quick and so easy to produce multiple prints. I became a bit like a madwoman, printing dozens of pink bears and covering every available surface in them.


And voila - here is the finished pink bear postcard. He is a super limited edition just for Valentines, and I will be popping them in with Valentines orders until they run out... Huge thanks to Xtina for being such a knowledgable teacher and for sharing all your gocco knowledge. I am always amazed by how inspiring it is just talking to someone who is an expert in their field. If you are interested in gocco and would like to learn more about it then I cannot recommend these classes enough. Even if there isn't one listed on the Medway Printmakers site, just drop them an email as Xtina may be able to schedule one.

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