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August 22, 2007

ocac: "pushing the gocco envelope"

by gl. at 3:28 pm

last week i assisted shu-ju wang, local gocco artisté extraordinare, with a 3-day class she taught at the oregon college of art & craft, "pushing the gocco envelope."

the class was pretty packed, so in addition to handling questions, i tried to be invisibly helpful: i brought in a bunch of supplies to share when we were running low, i took pictures for shu-ju, i staggered my work/lunch times so there was always someone available to answer questions, i took half a day to spend with people in the computer lab, i pulled an extra print for the person who let us use the computer lab, i cleaned the classroom even better than it was when we started. i tried not to ask too many questions myself, and i tried not to even wince when the students voted to come to class an hour earlier, even though i live on the opposite side of the planet as ocac which made for some long days.

it definitely felt different to assist a class than to facilitate one. i kind of liked it; i could be helpful without being the ultimate authority or having as much responsibility. just like at my art events, though, i was worried that i wouldn't actually be able to finish making the art! i started off slowly as people needed more help earlier on in the process, but fortunately i caught up on the last day.

i've owned "little miss gocco" for a couple of years now but have done regrettably little with it other than note cards and poetry crepes. so beyond the altruistic desire to assist a fellow artist, i was happy to get the chance to do more goccoing! unfortunately, my computer had a fatal hard drive crash on the first day of class, so i had to create something fairly simple quickly on sven's laptop.

[letters are symbols which turn matter into spirit]

this print took two gocco screens (which was the point of the class, to create a piece bigger than the standard b6 print bed). the "a" is in gold, "the "z" is in silver. the darker parts in the middle are actually 3 different colors of green (the bottom is brown). if i was going to do it over again i'd reverse the color on the bottom screen (leaving brown as the base color).

i didn't pull any prints i thought were completely perfect, but it was good to do it with shu-ju around. for instance, i was surprised to find i wasn't using enough ink a great deal of the time, even when it felt like i had a lot. i also discovered i press too hard. i wasted several prints by not using the mylar registration technique (lesson learned!). but the marbling happened mostly the way i imagined, even if it took a lot of test prints to start the ink migration process.

at the end of the class we hosted an exchange, where we got a copy of everything everyone else made. whee! that's one of the best things about printmaking! there were some delicious prints, cute cards, and imaginative booklets.

posted by gl. | August 22, 2007 3:28 PM | categories: classes & workshops, printing