Do you Gocco? You will.
I never respected my poor Print Gocco until she was gone. Over the four years that she was the main tool of my craft, I treated her super bad. I stored her in a closet under shoes, dropped her dozens of times, let my twins knock her off of a chair, never cleaned her, never changed her batteries, ever. I shouldn't have been surprised when over the past few months, she began to decline. She was making spotty prints, not exposing bulbs, ruining screens. It was so sad. My quest for a new machine began and was far easier than I expected.
Wait, what's a Gocco, right?
Gocco is a fully self-contained compact color printing system invented in the 1977 by Noboru Hayama. Using flash bulbs similar to those found in old cameras, an original image is thermally imprinted on a master screen.
The name "print gocco" is derived from the Japanese word and concept "gocco", loosely translated as a type of make-believe play used to learn common rules and knowledge.
In December 2005, Gocco's parent company, "Riso", announced they are ending production of the Gocco system due to low sales in Japan. An Internet campaign was started to find a new home for the product (www.savegocco.com).
So, over four years, I used my Gocco to make nearly 1000 prints. I printed on blank cards, silk screened t-shirts, lunch bags, pillows, underwear. You name, it I printed on it. (See photo below of 2 and 3 color cards.)
The Gocco is the answer to all of your silk screening wishes and dreams. It is compact, easy, low stress, fun. The only real drawbacks to the Gocco are the smallish print area, about 4 inches by 6 inches and the constant threat of supplies disappearing since the parent company announced the product's demise.
It appears that all of the worries surrounding the Gocco's future can now be quelled. This week, Paper Source made this announcement on their website:
"In our excitement about getting the Gocco machines and supplies in at Paper Source, we sorta jumped the gun with our announcement that the machines are available to order from us immediately. We're delighted that on June 22nd Gocco machines and supplies will be offered for sale online. We'll be happy to take your pre-order over the phone. Please call us at 888.727.3711 to pre-order any of the Gocco items listed..."
This is super news. Having a major store supporting Gocco is totally rad. Their product list's first item is this, though: PRINT GOCCO ARTS FOR PAPER $395.00. I am not sure what they are selling for $395 or if that is a mistake, but I bought my new Print Gocco from Northwood Studios 3 weeks ago for $165. I also saw one available on Etsy's Feltcafe this morning for only $100. So this $395 price point should be researched before you run out and buy one from Paper Source. Some other good online sources for Gocco machines and supplies are Welsh Products and Wet Paint Art. I have ordered from both myself. Welsh Products has the best price and customer service.
UPDATE:The updated Paper Source site reveals the $395 item to be the larger print area (6.5in. x 9.3in.) Gocco machine.
Last night, I made a small batch of t-shirts in under 30 minutes. How rad is that? It is not this easy for beginners, of course. There are tons of tips and tricks that I am always giving out. These might not be helpful to you until you are in the middle of a project, so book mark this post and come back to it:
- Start out using the Gocco inks. They are never too thin or too thick for the screens. They are a sure thing. Later on, feel free to experiment with other silk screening paints, but only after you see what the Gocco can do.
- Mix paint! The Gocco ink for fabric only comes in bland primary colors. Mix them to make new colors and you will be mucho happy.
- Change the batteries in your machine every few months. I never changed my batteries and know I got less than perfect prints because of it. I also had the scare of, "is it broken?" When I just needed new batteries.
- Clean your screens! I used to just toss mine. But you really can clean them (with the Gocco cleaner or baby oil or water) and use them again.
- Store your screens in foil.
- Only use print outs from a laser printer, no ink jets!
I would love to hear your tips, please comment with them below!
My prints are pretty simple, but to see some amazingly intricate work, check out the gocco flikr group.
You can also get more information at www.savegocco.com. Have fun!
Tina Seamonster blogs her life and craft at http://www.ilikeseamonsters.com.