With the demise of my beloved Print Gocco, and supplies skyrocketing in price before their inevitable depletion, I've been doing tons of research on what the next step will be for my stationery business. There are lots of ideas swirling around the internet about ways to modify your Print Gocco; using Photo EZ, Stencil Pro, etc. but for some reason I just didn't want to get all Frankenstein on my Gocco. I've been feeling like maybe it's just time to move on. I've always played around with the idea of going back to "real" screenprinting. My first love will always be Gocco (and I have the tattoo to prove it), but there is something very satisfying about actually pulling a print that's lost on the Gocco.
There's been a lot of buzz about this new screenprinting unit from Provocraft called the Yudu (pronounced You Do, corny, right?). It's sold at craft stores and clearly marketed toward the scrapbooking mom (a category clear on the other side of the craft spectrum from me), but I can't deny that I've been very intrigued by it. The website barely gives any information about it and the video tutorials are laughable. It's like the everyman's screenprinting machine. It's the kind of thing that all the poster artists around Providence that I respect would totally laugh at. Lucky for me I don't care about people laughing because I bought the f'ing thing. I know that I could have gotten a nice, traditional screenprinting set up for the same amount of money, but I like gadgets and I LOVE the all-in-oneness of this machine. It's inevitable that screenprinting will be messy, and traditional screenprinting is much messier than Gocco, but I get the feeling that with this machine it will be a little easier to stay clean. For what I do (wedding invitations mainly) I can't have a mess, everything needs to be tidy.
Now before you get all excited to see my results, I haven't tried it yet. I've created a test image with all different font sizes and some detailed images that my Gocco handles without breaking a sweat. The main concern I have about the Yudu is that the mesh count of the screens is much lower than the Print Gocco screens. Print Gocco screens have a mesh count of 200, while Yudu screens are only 110, and basically the higher the mesh count the more detail you can get. The awesome news is that I just spoke with a rep from Yudu and she told me that they hope to be offering a 220 mesh screen in May *fingers crossed*
I have to admit I'm a little nervous to try it out. I've been Goccoing for 11 years, before that I took every printmaking class I could along with my textile design classes in college, but it's been a long time. I've screenprinted 3 color designs in repeat on 5 yard lengths of fabric on 3 separate occasions, but I've never once pulled a print on paper. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it, I'm just really hoping that when the finer mesh screen becomes available this will be a suitable replacement for my Print Gocco. In the meantime you can rest assured that I will be making some kick ass shirts and experimenting to see what I can accomplish on paper. Check back for an update to see how my tests go.... and wish me luck!
Happy crafting, Heather
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