Monday, December 21

Print Gocco and Holiday Cards 4

Here you can see what the first print looks like: large, amorphic shapes of color on a white background. You get the general suggestion of what the finished image is going to look like, which will really come to life once the black outlines are printed. Oh yes, I'm going to outline everything in black. That's something I haven't tried before.

The question there is, how thick should the outline be? Thick enough to cover the broad white gutters between the colored shapes? I opted not to do that but just to encapsulate the brown fur of the sock monkey ("fur" used in its loosest sense, of course) and draw eyes and mouth over the face, literally superimposing these over those features heretofore represented by large, vague colored areas.

Note this triptych: it is the progression of experience, application, and discovery.

When I printed the large colored shapes, ink ran over the entire stencil (between the protective layer and the mesh screen), going far beyond the areas I'd designated. That sprawl didn't print onto the paper, of course, but it represented a hell of a lot of wasted ink. "Gunk it up with lots of ink" is fine advice, but within reason: you're also throwing a lot of ink away unless you take pains to contain it.

And I did, as shown in the first photo. I readily availed myself of that adhesive grey foam and built narrow chambers for almost every single black line on the stencil. That ink was going to stay put and serve me only to goosh out through the mesh and onto the paper--no more of this broad spread of wasted resources!

The second picture shows you what I mean, and this is what it looked right before printing. Every tortuous alley is fully loaded with black ink. And it's not a lot of ink, either: a thin distribution proved sufficient for 20 prints before reloading!

The third photo reveals what I couldn't have foreseen. The broad spread of ink in the lower left is where the ink actually gooshed up over the foam wall and into terra incognito. That was doubtlessly the result of too much ink in one area, so a thinner strip would have served me. You can also see a couple joints bleeding with black ink where the seal wasn't secure. That's fine, it was still minimal spread and most of the ink stayed where I wanted it. Bonus: I only needed to refill the stencil once in the whole run, and when the cards were done I printed eight sheets of stationery with the black sock monkey outline as well as a stack of cards leftover from our wedding invitations. Now we have a supply of all-purpose sock monkey greeting cards waiting to be colored in.

Next: the finished product.

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