Tuesday, April 8, 2008

gocco printing

So in college I majored in art. Yeah, I know. Fucking brilliant. Anyway, one of the classes we had to take was screen-printing. This involved painting photo emulsion onto a screen, coming up with a design, putting the screen with the design (a photo or drawing) into a gigantic light-table thing that would burn your image onto the screen, and then you apply ink to the screen. The idea is that you then print your design onto fabric or paper. This allowed you to make multiple prints of the exact same design. Cool huh? Only I SUCKED. I could never get my registration right (that means getting your lines to line up and the colors to go where you want them to go). I DREADED the days we had to show our work to the class. I felt like I was in 7th grade all over again. After flailing through the entire semester and never getting the hang of it, I vowed NEVER to attempt screen-printing again.

Fast forward, well, let's just say more years than I care to admit. I have learned about a mini-printer called a Gocco. It used to be that nearly every home in Japan had a Gocco printer, on which they could print their own cards, invitations, art. Gocco has been around for a long time; it is a much, MUCH simpler version of the barbaric screen-printing I took in college. The main difference is that the Gocco prints only a 4x6 image. But it's perfect for printing cards or other small images. There is a flickr group specifically for art created with Gocco printers, and it's amazing what people are doing.

Of course I had to own one of these little buggers! I purchased one a month or two ago, and I can't tell you how easy and fun it is. Obviously, after looking at all the wonderful talent on flickr and etsy, I have much to learn, but I did print our Save the Date cards the other day.

First, you create your design. I found a font I loved and typed the text. Then I found an image of some orchids, which I thought appropriate since we're getting married in Hawaii. Then you photocopy them and "burn" the image onto your screen.

Then you lay on the ink and just press down to print as many cards as you need, without having to re-ink the screen at all.

And viola! Custom-made (and so easy!) cards. Cool, huh?

And, it's so easy even a 7 year old can do it! She drew a picture of herself with her name and "first grade" and then we printed cards into which to put her first-grade picture to send to friends and family.

Yep, definately cool.


Linda, aka "Lala" said...

Geez - La - Wheez! You have become so artys craftsy! Is there anything you DON'T make?

And when do you find the time to do all this stuff??? Do you hide under your desk at work with your little projects?

You're so cute, sister!

Linda, aka "Lala" said...

>snicker...< We need our reading audience to come back from the caribbean!

Blank Girl said...

Hey, don't I count?? I read... I just don't always comment...nstuff. :)

Robyn said...

So THIS is Gocco printing. Thanks for telling me, for I was clueless (for reals!). As I read your post, I thought to myself, "I must have one of these!". But I can't get one. I just can't. I already have too much crafting stuff I "haven't gotten to yet".

So maybe I'll just commission some stuff from you, yeah?

Dee said...

That's just way cool ! And neat, and looks like great fun. And its so easy a 1st grader can do it. You do find good stuff.
Love the idea of the invitations and " I did it myself!".

the tumtum tree said...

I've really been considering a Gocco, mostly for printing on clothes. But also really like the 'invitation' possibilities. Yours look great.