06 August 2008

Tools of the Trade: Quick Gocco tips

I spent this morning working on a little Gocco project while the power was out, which got me thinking about some tools of the trade. I know that Gocco has piqued a lot of interest in recent years, and in addition to an earlier review on The New Gocco Guide by Claire Russell (and despite the news that Gocco production is ceasing again), I thought I'd share some quick tips.

The thing I really like about Gocco is its unpredictability and imperfection. It leaves a lot of room for experimentation, and through my experiments, I've come up with three indispensable tools:
  1. Credit and Used Gift Cards. You know those credit card offers you get in the mail, with the pesky, non-recyclable fake credit cards? Save them to scrape and redistribute ink on the Gocco screen. Not only is it putting all those junk mail inserts to use, but it helps save on ink and prevent uneven, blotchy prints as well. Simply open the screen, run the card over the mylar sheet (not the burned side), and redistribute the ink onto the burned screen in places that are not printing consistently. Be sure to do a test print on scrap paper before returning to your intended materials.
  2. Scotch Tape. Sometimes a photocopy will have some stray carbon on it that will burn as little "pin holes" and will show up on your print. Rather than burning a new screen or scraping the ink off that spot, simply slap a little patch of scotch tape over the pin hole on the side of the screen that faces the mat. It stops the ink from coming through, but you can still see what you're doing.
  3. Duct Tape. When the grey grid pad that keeps your print in place loses its stickness (and if you do a lot of printing, it will), wrap some duct tape around your fingers and press it over the pad repeatedly. It will remove any lint and revive the pad's adhesive properties, and you'll get much more mileage out of your Gocco parts.
I'd love to hear from other Gocco enthusiasts about any tips or tricks they have discovered!


kirsten said...

i like the credit card tip - that's a keeper!

Tina said...

I use my old credit cards for squeegeeing the Gocco screens. If I had a tiny squeegee I'd use that. But the cc work really well. Instead of Duct tape, I use a lint roller ... basically the same thing. It's pretty amazing how much lint particles it pulls off.

Sarah said...

Tape is certainly my friend with gocco - I use it to cover stray spots too. I also keep straight pins around if I need to remove a little piece of paper or lint off the screen (I find this happens when I use cotton paper or fabric) that I cannot pick off with my fingers. I like the duct tape idea. Sometimes I use orange clean (or any other all purpose cleaner) to clean the pad and the machine. I also use my screen cleaner to clean the pad and get the stickiness back!

Angela said...

Straight pins are a great idea! With two dogs I usually have a stay hair or two sticking to the screen.

Jules Evans said...

Thanks for the tips - that's really helpful! I get my gocco next week and can't wait!

Zoete Koek said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

Robin said...

I loved your blog very much and thank you for sharing this wonderful information with us all and I loved the credit card and the pin tips which you have given us, thanks a lot

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