Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Getting Experimental

Do you think 14 bulbs for one screen is too much?
I certainly do! But I guess that's what happens when you decide to try something that 'just might work'.

I knew my very old (I inherited a couple of boxes of them so they must be 50 years or so old but in fine working condition) J.S. Staedtler Mars-Lumograph EX-EXB pencil would work in exposing the screen because of my original test screen I did. But I wanted texture. I'm still struggling to get my head around the difference between greys and blacks when exposing the screens. I get it. I really do. But then I think "But what about...?" And 14 bulbs later I have a screen I'm reasonably happy with - yes, just reasonably happy. No the greys in pencil do not expose. It especially doesn't work if you have drawn it on textured tracing paper which I chose because of its texture.

And I used a lot of extra bulbs because 2 of them didn't flash. Something else I learned is when this happens, don't put the divider in when replacing those 2 bulbs. Because the light did actually 'stray' across from the 2 that did work and when the divider goes in it stops that reciprocal 'straying' and you end up with a stripe that has STILL not been exposed enough.

I ended up getting my pencil texture, my scratchings, my greys by once again resorting to Photoshop and Halftones. I wish I could figure out another way. ARGH! That means I'm likely to 'waste' another 14 bulbs another day!!!


Julie Oakley said...

I read your post on the rather empty yahoo message board. I don't even have a gocco machine, but it seems to me that the principles would be exactly the same as silk-screen. Artwork needs to be black. You make a grey either by printing with grey ink or by fooling the eye with something like a half-tone (made of tiny black dots or lines) I've been longing to own a gocco, but the thought of all those consumables being used up in the learning process (esp as I'd have to import everything half-way round the world) is putting me off. Maybe if you scanned your pencil stuff and just converted everything to black and white in Photoshop you'd produce artwork that the machine can cope with. It seems to me that using grey lines for artwork would be a bit hit or miss as to how it would turn out.

Jan said...

Thank you Julie. I did know this, but I guess I didn't KNOW it. So I have to still learn a lot more to be able to 'think like a printer'. I am loving this part of my gocco the best, the stretching my brain into a new shape. I am surprised I still haven't got it, after all I have been printing on and off for 20 years or more! Ah, the pleasures of the slow learner/late bloomer or what ever it is I am.