the print gocco is a fantastic little printing machine. the pg 5 is the new model that replaces the old b6 (the classic light blue one). the print area is the same, about the size of a postcard, with b6 size screens. the print gocco burns a screen using a special process (special flash bulbs that burn away anything drawn with a carbon-based writing instrument or copied on a photocopier). the print gocco machine can then be used to print your designs on paper or fabrics (using different inks).
disclaimer: i am not a gocco expert! i have tried to do a few different things, and i have learned a little bit in the process, but i have a lot more to learn.
there are a lot of great gocco resources out there that i will list at the end of this post, and are very helpful. i just wanted to make a simple tutorial to demystify the pg 5 gocco for someone starting out. any comments, corrections, or suggestions are welcome.
here's the pg 5 gocco. the yellow part holds the flashbulbs. the bulbs are one time use only, and it takes 2 to expose one screen.
this is the gocco open. it ships with a paper in the clear plastic holder, and a plastic film over the grey sticky foam printing bed. these should both be removed before use.
to make the screen: insert the hi mesh master in to the slots, with the arrow pointing down.
push down on the notch until it 'clicks' into place. the screens are designed so that there's really only one way they can go in all the way.
make sure you have inserted your 2 AA batteries (you can see where they go in the above picture), included in the pg 5 basic set.
NOTE: if you are using a photocopy, put the blue filter behind the master and insert them together.
put a blank card on the foam bed (to keep your artwork from sticking to it), and put your original artwork on top of that. i drew this image using the gocco marker (included in gocco set). position your artwork where you want it.
close the lid can check visually that your artwork is where you want it to be.
but 2 bulbs into the print hood (yellow part) can insert the hood into the print gocco body. here's the first side.
here's the second side.
at this point the order is top to bottom: yellow flash hood; clear plastic window in the gocco; blue filter; mesh master; original artwork; blank paper; foam bed.
when it's pressed down, the hood makes a complete circuit that will cause the bulbs to flash.
put both your hands on the front of the gocco (the picture just has one of my hands, because the other one is holding the camera, but you can see where your hands should go).
push down (you will see the the flash and hear a crackling noise) and hold for 3-5 seconds.
open your gocco. your artwork will most like be stuck to the master. remove the master (and blue filter, if you used it to create a master from a photocopy).
when you remove the yellow print hood, be careful not to touch the bulbs until they cool.
here's the master with my design exposed on it.
with the master out of the gocco, screen side down and sitting on a piece of scrap paper, lift the clear plastic up and squeeze ink out of the tube on to the area where your design is. if you haven't yet, peal your original off the master. (leaving it on until now can be helpful to see where exactly you need to ink).
replace the clear plastic layer and and put the inked master back into the gocco the same way and position as before. if you haven't removed the flash hood, do it now.
now the order is: clear plastic window in the gocco, clear plastic sheet over the ink, ink, mesh master.
put whatever you want to print on on the sticky grey foam bed. now it will be helpful that it's sticky as it holds your prints in place.
close the gocco to make a print. *repeat.*
this is my print on fabric.
these are all the things i printed on. and printing on felt was awesome.
this technique above can be used to print on paper or fabric, although to print on fabric, you need to used special gocco fabric ink. (EDIT: you can print on fabric with the same kind of screen and same process that you can use to print on paper-just use 'gocco stamp ink for fabric').
another way to print on fabric is instead of using the hi mesh master (which can be used for both paper or fabric printing), use the gocco screen masters especially for screen printing on fabric. with these, you can't use the gocco to print, rather you use the gocco to make the screen, and then print like typical screenprinting, using gocco screenprinting ink, which comes in jars and is not the same as the 'stamp ink for fabric' that comes in tubes.
this is a screened print i did using the gocco screen and screen inks. it was from a photocopy of a traditional japanese screen, so the meshy background is from the original image.
the screens can be re-used many many many times. you can store them in a ziploc bag in the fridge and take them out when you are ready to use them next time. this way, you don't even have to clean off the inks.
the fabric inks are water based. i recommend taping the cardboard edges of your screen before you start, that way they won't fall apart or warp after cleanup with water.
you can use the gocco cleaner with the paper inks, but they will also wash off if held under running water (this is where the tape comes it). you can also wipe with a sponge or paper towels. keep in mind that it's important to clean the print area only, and it the screen is stained in other places it will not affect your future prints.
several years ago gocco' s parent company riso announced that gocco's would no longer be exported to the united states. this caused a bit of a frenzy and lead to creation of the save gocco campaign. EDIT: after several years of limited supplies, it seems that gocco will indeed be ceasing production in the next year or so. supply availability is not clear for the long run, but there are people working on getting a u.s. company to take over production, and other people working on developing supplies and systems that will work with the gocco machines. this author is optimistic that the gocco will live on.
nehoc the australian supplier, tons of information
the small object tutorial
the yahoo gocco-printers group
flickr gocco group
EDIT: i am no longer in japan, and therefore no longer selling gocco supplies in my etsy shop.