Oct 04 2010
Print Gocco! is an amazing little Japanese screenprinter which is sadly no longer produced. I’ve had mine since 2005 (and have luckily ferreted a decent amount of supplies away) but you can still find them on ebay! I don’t use it very frequently (I think the last time I used it was 2008! For shame!) but have been meaning to bust it out and have some fun. You can see some of my previous results in the photo above. Let’s get to it.
So I have my stack of cards (from Paper Source); my original art (skulls!); a screen; some RISO metallic ink; 2 RISO flash bulbs; & last but certainly not least, the Print Gocco B6 Model (the shiny silver part if the flash hood; the blue part is the actual press).
It’s important that your original artwork is a high resolution (300dpi+) and high contrast (black and white!). It’s also equally important that your original artwork is printed with toner—do not use an inkjet! Once you have the art lined up how you want it, you place your flashbulbs in the hood and attach the hood to the body of the Print Gocco (Fig B). To make the screen, you simply press down firmly on the handle and FLASH BANG! The lights pop (one use only—sadness! See Fig DEF) and your screen has been burned. Generally, your original will be stuck to your screen after the burning process (Fig C). I always think of it as a good thing because it means that the burn was successful!
I think the screen is really neat. You can clearly see where the toner has “burned through” the screen on all the places that were black. All the area that were white on the original are solid & shiny so the ink cannot seep through.
Let’s ink this bad boy! You can see in Fig H that there is a little plastic film that flips over one side of your screen. You want to sandwich the ink in between the plastic film & your screen—this ensures that the ink only presses out on one side & doesn’t get all over your little printer! You only really need to ink the black parts of the design but because this particular design is ink heavy, I ended up inking the entire screen (and using a palette knife to smoosh any extra ink into the right place).
To fit the screen into the machine’s body after inking you have to gently bend the screen/frame to fit in the slots on the top half of the press (Fig J-M). The plastic film side faces your machine & the open screen size faces your printing plate!
Let’s make a print! Place card (or paper product of your choice) on the printing plate (Fig N); make sure it’s straight (if you want it straight anyway!). Press the screen down (Fig O). Your printed object will most likely stick to the screen (Fig P). You want to be extra careful when you’re peeling it away from the screen—images smudge/smear and lose their crispness if you aren’t mindful (Fig Q). And tada! we have a print (Fig R).
And then you print madly on whatever you have lying around (I tend to have a collection of blank cards from Paper Source’s sale rack and leftovers from other projects—those orange cards look familiar…) and lay out to dry. I let all mine dry over night. I find that my stacking cookie racks are incredibly useful when I have a high volume of printed pieces drying rather than spreading them out over any flatish surface in our apartment.
Who’s next? I am thinking the keys are the next up for printing. What do you think?
You can purchase any of the skull prints from my etsy shop!