This article was originally published on February 12, 2008. We are reviving it as part of the Best of the Storque series. Enjoy!
It’s an Etsy How-To Video with the wonderful julieincharge! This week we’ll be talking about Gocco printing, which is a way of printing that uses a kit from Japan. If you’ve ever wanted to do screenprinting but have been too intimidated, Gocco is the way to go. I sat down with Julie and she walked me through how to make a sweet little Valentine card.
First things first for your project …
Supplies Needed for Gocco Printing
If you buy a new PG-5 kit, it should come with all of the following to get you started:
- B-6 masters (screens)
- Print Gocco Lamp (bulbs)
- Riso Gocco ink for paper
- Riso Gocco pens OR photocopy images (no larger that 3.5” x 5.5”)
- adhesive blocking strips (optional)
- 2 AA batteries
- Gocco cleaner
- blue filter (for use with photocopies)
There are many different applications and ideas for Gocco: greeting cards, postcards, business cards, notecards, envelopes, invitations, stationary, napkins, tags, labels, stickers, bookplates, art prints, zines, small books … the list goes on!
Let’s Go Gocco
Once you’ve got your supplies and an idea, the first thing you want to do is make your design. You can do it on the computer or by hand, but you’re going to want carbon to be in the ink of whatever you do, so you’ll want to photocopy your project or use a special pen. Some laser printers work, too.
Once you’ve got your design, it’s time to make the screen. Make sure there are batteries in your printer and put the screen in with the blue part facing out. Load the flashbulb holder with two flashbulbs. (Make sure to wash your hands when you’re done since they are toxic.)
Flash your screen, and you’re all set to start printing. Apply the Gocco inks to your screen. If you’re going to use more than one color, use the foam blocker that Julie shows in the video to separate the different colors.
Then start printing! I was super impressed by how fast this whole process went! If you have leftover ink on your screen, you can put it in a plastic bag and keep it for later.
Once you’ve got your cards, get them set up in your Etsy shop. A quick search for Gocco cards will give you an idea of the amazing and wonderful possibilities that await you when you fall down the rabbit hole that is Gocco printing.
I’m also on the lookout for Gocco tips and tricks. The next time you do Gocco printing and notice that you have a special way of doing things that isn’t mentioned in the video, write us a note, leave a comment, or make a little video showing your Gocco skills!
think-ink.net (They sell a great handbook called The New Gocco Guide by Claire Russell)
Julie Schneider is a Brooklyn-based artist, teacher and punster. When she's not working on Etsy's community team, she's writing, drawing and making cards and papercuts. Keep up with her latest creations on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.