Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Go Gocco!

Hello Everyone,
Sorry I’ve been away so long. It was a busy end to 2008 and I overextended myself a bit doing craft shows and burnt myself out. So, I took an extended craft break for the last 2 months and now my creative juices are flowing again and I’m ready to get crafting.

I started last night. I’ve been wanting a Gocco printing machine forever and I finally broke down and bought a used one on Ebay. For those of you who don’t know a Gocco machine is a Japanese made unit that basically makes instant screen prints. You can print on paper or material and do it from the comfort of your dining room table.

To give you all a little insight into my crafty world I thought I’d share my Gocco experiences with you. I got my Gocco about 5 days ago and even though I’d been yearning for it for so long when it arrived I was suddenly scared to death of it. I’d read a zillion tutorials online about how to use it but when faced with the box, ink and lots of instructions in Japanese I froze!

So, last night I decided the best way to start was to just do it. I made what is called your original – it has to be something either photocopied or drawn with a carbon pen/pencil. The carbon is what makes the whole screen print process work, so you can’t use a inkjet or laser copied item, it must be a photocopier that uses toner.

Seeing I can’t draw very well, I created a digital image and photocopied it. Here is my “original” and yes, that is a Dalek from Doctor Who! What can I say, I craft geek!

Then you take your Gocco machine and you have to assemble all the parts – flash bulbs, batteries, and a mesh screen that will become your master screen. This is what the image burns onto. Here is a photo of the Gocco machine. Sorry I only got 1 angle and it doesn’t show you the screens, or flash bulb housing unit.

I was doing great up to this point. I assembled it all, put my original down, screen in place and tried it – no flash. Guess I should have checked the batteries. Turns out ones that came with it were no good. I replaced the batteries and tried again. Success! I saw the flash and could see the screen had burned an image onto it.

Now came more mistakes – I got too excited at this point and stopped reading directions – so learn from my mistakes and if you’re just starting a Gocco project – go slow.

Your original will stick to what is now your master screen. What I incorrectly did was immediately peel off the original. Then in my excitement and haste I grabbed a tube of ink and started applying it to the master screen. Well, there are 2 kinds of ink. One for cloth and one for paper. I wanted to print on paper but grabbed the cloth ink instead. It was too late once I figured out I had the wrong ink. My master was covered with it so I gave it a try anyway. Here is a print on canvas, not too bad:

Then I tried it on paper. My next mistake was to quickly put a piece of cardstock under it and press down – well, the image came out but I hadn’t thought about which direction the card would fold – so now I have a dyslexic Dalek card that opens backwards! Exterminate it!

That’s it. That was my 1st try at printing Gocco! Hopefully I’ll learn from each attempt and be printing out beautifully geeky images in no time.

Oh yes – 1 little tidbit that was a great hint I found in the Gocco group on Flickr .
My machine didn’t come with any of the official Risso cleaning solution and I did end up with ink all over the place – guess what cleans it up great? Vegetable oil! Yup, good old fashioned greasy vegetable oil. Not only can you cook with it but you can clean ink with it too!

1 comment:

ArtSnark said...

very cool. I've been wondering about this type of printing for a while. look forward to your future creations!