Posts Tagged ‘gocco’

First GOCCO Print: Simple, yet successful.

Friday, November 6th, 2009

UPDATE: I’ve made a new, more detailed Gocco tutorial here (January, 2011).

I found a used Gocco machine a few weeks ago and finally got around to testing it out today. I needed to be free of all other projects. I took a few pictures to show you. I’m not going to give a full-on tutorial here, since there are plenty of great ones already on the YouTube, with music and everything.


The Gocco is pretty much a self-contained screenprinting apparatus from Japan. It was super popular there for years and years. Unfortunately, they stopped making them a while ago because demand dropped, and now the supplies and machines are a little scarce. It’s kind of heavy on disposable materials as well (screens, bulbs, ink), but I just couldn’t resist trying out this new (to me) printmaking technique. While doing my research, I’ve learned that a lot of ladies out there are using this to print up wedding invites and stationary. If you can get your hands on one for this purpose, I would recommend it. Just read up on it first and be sure you want to do the grunt work.


The screens are made with carbon-based drawings only, so I just went up the road and got some photocopies made of my original drawing. Apparently your laser printer has a bit of carbon in it too, if you have one.

Since this was my first go at it, I decided to stick with a simple line drawing, in order to avoid large areas of ink blocking up or getting splotchy, and any other frustrating obstacles. I was very happy to find that it was very simple and easy to do! The neat thing is that you can print multiple colours with one screen, by blocking off different areas with some foam strips that have adhesive on the back. I cleaned off the ink and switched to a different colour scheme half way through, which worked okay, but the image did break down a little and I got some extra specks around the bigfoot that were not part of the original drawing.


Screen is inked up here and ready to print — you just have to place your paper on the grey spongey block there and then push the top part down, like a big stamp.


KA-CHUNK (it doesn’t really make a sound like that, unfortunately).


There it is.


The ink is oil-based, so it will have to dry for a few hours.


This is the screen after printing is finished.

Get to knowco your Gocco

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Last month I made my second Christmas card using my Gocco machine. I picked it up second-hand a while ago through a Kijiji ad.

This is a screenprinting process, but instead of pulling the ink with a squeegee, you press it through the screen using the machine like a big stamp.

I did a simple tutorial when I first picked it up, but that was just a one-screen print. This time around I used three screens and decided to take more pictures for an in-depth tutorial. There are tons of other Gocco tutorials and Youtube videos around for this sort of thing, but I thought it would be fun to add to the pile. You can click on the pictures for a larger version.

I also did a lino cut tutorial a while ago here.

The screens are made with carbon-based drawings only, so I went up the road and got some photocopies made of my original drawing. Apparently your laser printer has a bit of carbon in it too, if you have one. My print has three colours: blue for the background, red for the box, and black for the lines. You need to make a photocopy of each of your colours for this step. I used Photoshop to break my drawing up into three parts. You could also try tracing paper or carbon paper if you have it.

Each colour needs its own screen if the colours are going to touch. If the colours will be far apart, you can put more than one on the same screen and separate the areas with strips of the Gocco foam blocking pad. You’ll see these strips farther down.

Next, you expose your screens. Your photocopy goes on the printing pad, and a fresh screen goes in the top section of the machine.

Then, two fresh bulbs go into the lamp. Unfortunately, both the screens and bulbs are one-time use only. Also, two AA batteries are needed for the bulbs to operate.

When you press down on the top part of the unit, a big flash goes off and the screen is exposed. I don’t really get how this works!

After you remove the lamp and lift up the top of the machine, your paper will be stuck to the screen. Gently peel it off and your first screen is ready to go. Repeat these steps for each screen. The ink will now only go through where you can see your drawing.

The screen pictured above is for my third screen, the black lines. This will be printed last.

Next, ink up the screen. Lift up the clear plastic flap, and squeeze the ink all around the printable area. Then, stick it in the machine. There are arrows to help you.

Lay your paper on the grey pad and then firmly press down the top of the machine to print. Be sure to print a couple on scrap paper first. The first one or two will be blotchy, and you also want to make sure you’re happy with the colour you’ve chosen.

Since more layers are to come, I used tape to mark off where I laid the paper. This is to ensure I will lay it in the exact same place while printing each layer. It’s a bit of a fickle process, and each print will still look a little bit different from the next.

Each layer has to dry for a few hours because the ink is oil-based. Water-based inks would dry in the fine mesh way too quickly, I think. It is a bit smelly, so a well-ventilated area is best. Lay the paper in racks or out on newspaper on your floor or table.

And there’s the first layer. The next picture shows the second red layer. Here, I’ve surrounded the area with the foam blocking strips. This is just to prevent wasted excess ink. The ink won’t spread beyond the strips. You can see here how two or even three colours are possible with only one screen. The little piece of tape is blocking off a hole that’s not supposed to be there.

Here, you can see the card with the second layer, and then the final product.

I hope this was a little helpful or at least interesting!

Minicomic Update

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Welp, I’ve finally finished drawing and inking my minicomic over the past couple of days and she comes in at a whopping 40 pages! The last one was a puny 24, so I’ve put my former self to shame! I just hope my stapler is up to it.

Next step is to scan, re-size, format, and copy the pages. I’m also going to Gocco the covers (that’s a verb, right?), and that will be fun. So, it should be ready in a few more weeks if I can stay on task.

PS If you’re on the Facebook a lot, you can “like” the Werebears there and get updates whenever new comics are posted.


A Fairy Tale of Sorts

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

A Fairy Tale of Sorts is the third Werebears minicomic, created in July, 2011. It is full of adventure, crazy new creatures, and wild times! Now available for sale in the Etsy Shop!

This is not a collection, but an all NEW story featuring the Werebears characters, a whopping 39 pages of original comics not published anywhere else. Let me tell you, my stapler could just barely do the job.

The cover is a 3 – color Gocco print. There are two variations; you can specify which cover you prefer if you like (brown or beige).

Also comes with a surprise sticker (while quantities last)! You can stick these buggers anywhere!

Finally, there are still copies available of my last comic, Paper Hats and/or Boats.

P.S. I love to trade, so e-mail or Tweet me or whatever and we’ll talk!

Valentine’s Day Cards

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

I made some new Gocco cards today for Valentine’s Day. I’ve left them blank inside for you to add your own friendly and/or sexy message.

Check them out in my Etsy shop!