Originally sold as a toy in Japan, Gocco printers are fantastic little machines for doing screen printing at home. Unfortunately, Riso Corporation, the manufacturer of Gocco printers and supplies, decided in May of 2008 to stop making these wonderful devices, citing decline in sales due to home use of computers and printers. But you can still get your hands on one of these (and there are many companies that still sell the supplies) at Ebay or through foreign online businesses. If you enjoy creative projects, I urge you to get one while you can. I have a B6 kit and can assure you that they are quite addictive and once you use it, you’ll be hooked.
Don’t be fooled by the “toy” statement above – once you get the hang of it (and it’s not difficult at all), you can create some really sophisticated prints/invitations/greeting cards or print on anything you can think of (ceramics, T-shirts, curtains, etc.).
If you buy a kit, the printer comes with at a minimum a pack of light bulbs, mesh screens, ink, registration plate, artwork pen and a few clipart designs.
To make your invitations, do the layout on a computer, exactly the way you want it to look. Then print it out, in black and white, on a laser printer (inkjet does not work). If you don’t have a laser printer, print it on your inkjet and then copy the design on a regular copy machine (in black & white). You can include anything in your design – symbols, decorations, borders, whatever you want (photos do not work all that well, but illustrations do).
Cut your design down a little bit, and the next thing you’ll do is burn it onto one of the mesh screens with the help of the light bulbs (see instruction manual for the exact step-by-step guide). Once you have your screen all set, the fun begins! It’s time to put ink on the screen, and you can either do the whole thing in one color, or put several colors on the same screen (don’t put too much on, or they might bleed into each other). Once you’re happy with the ink application, the screen goes in the top part of the printer, put a piece of cardstock (or whatever you want to do a test on) on the registration plate, and press down. When you lift the lid, there’s your design, printed and ready!
Another way of doing the invites is to print the text portion on your printer and then add a design to each with the Gocco. Definitely get extra material so you have room for mishaps and to play around. And have fun! I guarantee that once you’ve made your first invitation, you’ll want to use your Gocco printer for everything!
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