February 3, 2011

Gocco Process

Thanks to the crazy winter weather, I've had some extra time to create these last two days. I spent some time making a new gocco print and wanted to share the process!

It started as an idea I sketched out for matched items, things that go together.

From here I refined the sketches and carefully drew everything with a micron pen. (Sometimes I will scan my sketches and work on them in Photoshop, then print the result on my Canon Pixma printer. This also works fine for screens. But sometimes nothing beats hand-drawing!) Once I finished my sketch I carefully lined up my pictures in my Gocco machine and got my screen ready.

After this it's a quick flash of light (and a few seconds of nervousness as I hope both bulbs go off!) and then my screen is ready to ink. Sometimes I use ink blocking to separate colors and keep the ink contained, but for this screen I just inked away!

Now, to print, and check on the quality.

Here's what the screen looks like as you print. (Notice those little squares on there? That's to block a couple of little pin dots that were putting ink on my cards where it didn't belong. A little bit of tape is a simple fix.)

Here's a whole mess of prints lined up to dry!

When I've printed all I want to, I then clean off the screen so I can use it again later. Here's what it looks like when it's clean: the ink colors are stained on there, but you can see the light through the lines of your images.

Add on a snazzy matching envelope, and you are good to go!

I'm really happy with how this print came out. It's exactly what Gocco is designed for, using multiple colors on one screen and getting a lot of cards at once from it. While I've played in the past with using multiple screens to get layered images, I really loved the ease and instant gratification of doing one screen and still getting lots of color.

This counts as my Thing 3 for thing-a-day, is one of the items on my yearly to-do list, and is now listed in my shop! I love gocco.


Michelle said...

Thanks for showing us how this process works. Love your design and the finished cards.

trulymadlygeeky said...

Fascinating, I've been curious about how that works. This design is just ridiculously adorable!

Amy Walters said...

great post, the card is really cool!

Francine said...

Fantastic! Thanks for sharing your process!

Linda said...

I really love seeing your process and how you do it - and the design is lovely! Thanks for this inspiring post!

Andree Santini said...

Thanks for sharing this process. Did I miss a step? How does the screen get made?

Anonymous said...

Thanks everyone, it was fun to share the step-by-step process.

Andree, I showed the lining up of the sketch on my screen but not the actual flash of light that burns the screen. The way it works is that you have a kind of square-ish lamp piece that fits on top of the gocco printer. You put two bulbs in there then push down on the whole top. This sets off the bulbs, then the light and heat burn the image into the screen. Maybe I'll do a video someday to show it!

KEQ said...


What do you use to clean your screens? I haven't had much success with cleaning and reusing.


Anonymous said...

KEQ, when I bought my gocco kit it came with a tiny tube of screen cleaner, though I don't have much of it left.

But I've found that I can get the screens pretty clean without it anyway. First I scrape off the excess ink using a plastic knife. Then I put my screen on scrap paper (using an old catalog works great, I can use a page then turn for a fresh one) and gently rub off the leftover ink with a tissue or toilet paper. This really gets most of the ink off. (I also gently rub on the opposite side of the screen once most of the ink is gone.)

At the end I use a little bit of screen cleaner in any areas where the ink looks clogged. Just hold it up to the light to see. I think there are alternative screen cleaners available, and I've heard olive oil recommended as a substitute, but I haven't tried it myself yet.

This gives me good results for reusing screens!

Cassandra said...

where did you get your gocco? I'm looking into getting one, but I know they stopped making them, so they're harder to find!

Wendymoon said...

Cassandra, I got my gocco printer on ebay. You should still be able to find them there, depending on the supplies included the price will vary.