the application of ink is tricky, how much, how thick etc. invariably i seemed to get my best prints towards the end of the print run so as i went along i started increasing the number of practice prints i did before the actual prints. (i was using old japanese language exams i had failed and immigration paper work which was very therapeutic). when you get a really thin and even layer of ink the image comes out beautifully. it almost seems that the only way to get such a thin and even layer of ink is to put a thick layer as evenly as you can with a palatte knife or old bank card and then print 10 prints and then start printing the edition. here's what a lot of ink as even as you can get it looks like: and here's what it looks like after some printing, thiner and more even:
the prints i liked best didn't achieve the perfect flatness and solidness of a silk-screen print. this is when it looks most like a gocco print and it's what i really liked. when the ink started running out in some areas my shoe prints started to look even better. sometimes it looks like highlights on the shoes, sometimes it looks like scuffed up leather; but it always seemed to be in just the right spot, where a pair of old shoes would really be scuffed. i liked this slightly out of control aspect of printing with the gocco and pushed it as far as i could before re-inking. although the gocco is supposed to be used by pushing all the way down to make a print i much preferred using much less pressure for a crisper image and a little texture. you are much less likely to have images showing through on the other side of the page this way and also you go through a lot less ink = cheaper.
if the patchy look doesn't take your fancy then its probably best to stick to using images that don't have such large solid areas as mine do. i'd like to try doing something with half-tones or line drawings for example, for a different look.
in terms of drying times i found the prints were dry enough to print the next colour in about 2 hours (in extremely humid conditions) but still, after 5 days and counting they are still too tacky to fold into books and stack. waiting.... waiting....