Help, I think I’m addicted to craft classes. There’s just something about spending an evening making a mess (in someone else’s space), learning a new skill, meeting lovely people, and coming home with some ace handmade goodies that I just can’t resist. There’s usually cake and/or wine involved too which always helps.
Gocco is a Japanese-made home printing system which is a little like screenprinting but, in true Japanese fashion, much more neat and efficient. It comprises a plastic box with a lamp to expose your mesh printing screens, and a flippy screen inside in which you do the actual printing.
Xtina gave us a rundown of the machine and some pointers on what kind of designs work best for gocco – they need to be solid blacks and whites and made of a carbon-based ink so that the mesh reacts correctly to create an exposure. You can use some home printers, photocopiers, riso pencils or Sharpie markers to create your art. I ran out of time to think of anything fun to print so just used the graphic I made for my blog…
The meshes come pre-loaded with photo-sensitive emulsion, so it’s just a question of loading up the machine and fitting the single-use bulbs in..
Press to flash the bulbs, and the screen is done! Much easier than messing with emulsion and thermal imagers like normal screen printing. (Thanks Leona for taking this action shot – check out her blog post abut the class here.)
You can print using the gocco itself too, but we used the squeegee method usually used for screen printing – it works great for gocco screens. After a few practice runs I had a little production line going…
I made some little promo postcards with my site logo, and also put it on some cute coloured notebooks. I’ll be popping some randomly into my Etsy shop orders until I run out!
Some of my classmates’ work. I was pretty envious of Kat Hannaford‘s gorgeous hand-drawn kitty!
Sadly gocco is a dying art because the Japanese company that makes the machines and materials has decided it isn’t commercially viable to produce them any more. So lots of people are snapping up supplies while they can – but a basic model with a good starter set of supplies can still be grabbed on eBay for around £150. You can also get supplies from this Australian site. I’m ever so tempted but do I really need another hobby?! (Yes, is the answer.)
If you fancy a try at gocco yourself, Xtina Lamb is running a day workshop on July 2nd, check out Facebook for details.
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