Thanks everyone who has commented or contacted me about the notecards I gocco'd for the swap!
I've been pleasantly surprised by all the positive responses, and to thank you for your support, I'm going to give away a set of my gocco cards containing the 3 designs you saw previously!
To be considered for this giveaway, please leave me a comment by 9/8 (Mon) on how you'd like to see this blog and/or my Paper Elixir business grow. Any feedback, ideas, tips, what you'd like to see more/less of... it'll be my Suggestion Box! I'll randomly draw a name and post the winner here next Monday.
And I know I promised this a while back, I finally got a chance to collect photos of all the fun and beautiful and quirky cards I received from the Art of the Note gocco swap:
1. Finished business meeting, 2. Ahoy Matey!, 3. 8_22_08, 4. packed, 5. gocco note cards, 6. Gocco Cards, 7. 08_13_08, 8. spirograph flowers, 9. finshed notecards, 10. IMG_2378, 11. gocco'd notes giveaway!, 12. "Simple Life" bunny card (mine, of course :>)
Aren't they gorgeous? And this is just from the group I belong to (I think there are 5 groups total). To see the entire spectrum of gocco loveliness, check out this Flickr group here.
Ever since I posted about my Gocco creations, I also got a few questions about what this Gocco business is...
I guess I should take a step back and explain what this little gadget is.
The Print Gocco machine is a small, family-oriented table-top silk-screen printing unit that was introduced by the Japanese company, Riso, some 30+ years ago (my dad used to have one when I was a kid!). It was hugely popular in the 70's and 80's, but has gradually declined in appeal due to the advent of color inkjet printers. It has enjoyed a revival in the past few years among craft enthusiasts.
However, as Riso's business grew in other departments (it makes industrial size printers now), it sees Gocco as no longer a profitable business unit, and has just announced it will stop producing the machine and all the supplies (a similar "scare" happened a few years ago, prompting the Save Gocco campaign). Word on the street is that the machine has ceased production in June 08, and while a small amount of supplies will still be made, the only US distributor will apparently drop this product line by the end of the year.
While I certainly hope this is not true, you may be witnessing a dying art form here.
With that bit of history, let me now answer some of your questions and show you how the gocco works before it becomes a mere urban legend.
There are a few models out there, the more common ones being the smaller PG5, and the slightly larger PG11 (that also allows for easier registration for multiple screen printing).
I own the PG11 model. Below's a photo of my nifty little PG11 along with some supplies I have:
Starting from top left, going clockwise:
1. A tube of screen cleaner. Not the most fun part of printing, but someone need to clean up the mess, right? I got this cleaner from here, it costs much less than the "official" one, and works just as well. Will save lots of cursing (and your wallet) down the road. Highly recommended.
2. A registration screen (black plastic part + clear screen) that only comes with the PG11. Helps you align multiple images accurately. More later.
3. Ta-dah! The PG11 machine itself. It combines the 2 steps of silk screening in one: (1) it burns (transfers) the image onto the screen, and (2) it prints.
It basically acts like a clam-shell- it holds the exposed screen with ink on the top lid, and when you close it, it'll print onto the piece of paper you've placed on the bottom lid. 3b is the lamp housing that holds the light bulbs which burns the image onto the screen (comes with machine).
4. Ink galore! You obviously don't need this many colors to start with. I started with the basic primary colors + black and white. Those are your essentials. I stocked up when I heard about the impending shortage (although now that I've stocked up I'm sure they won't go out of supply for the next century).
Of note, some colors are discontinued, and certain retailers have jacked up their price, some retailers have not. Normally they cost around $3-3.50 each. Shop around before you buy.
5. (In the middle of the box) A palette knife. For a time when you need just that perfect shade of aqua.
6. Lamps (light bulbs). Everytime you need to burn an image on a screen, you need a pair of these (see those 2 yellow ovals sticking out from the end of the white cardboard holder?). They come in boxes of 10. As you can imagine, they go by pretty quickly. They can be pricey ($12-15/box), but they are essential.
Note- it's rumored that the lamps contain lead (or mercury, depends on who you ask). So, wash hands after use and dispose of properly (as you would energy-saving light bulbs). I haven't grown a third eye yet so I guess they're OK.
7. Blocking material- a grey foam that you can cut into strips and stick on the screen to separate inks of different colors. See first 2 photos here for an example. Pretty cheap, get at least a couple.
8. The all-important screen. The blue surface is a very fine-mesh silk screen. When an image is "exposed" onto it, the lamp burns little holes on the screen where there is carbon (from the image). And when ink is then applied on the screen and pressed, it will go through these little holes and get transferred to the piece of paper you want to print on.
Comes in packs of 5, about same price as a box of bulbs. Again, pricey but essential (you could buy unmounted mesh and mount your own, but seems complicated and I'm too lazy to figure that out...)
9. A blue filter. Usually comes with kit. You'll need it when using photocopied images to burn the screen to cut down on the degree of burn.
Whew! That's about it :)
If you're interested in creating some gocco love for yourself, this site offers a list of retailers that may still carry the machine/supplies. At last check (as of Aug 08), almost everybody's out of the machine, except this retailer. Supplies are still readily available at most retailers, thanks goodness.
As this post is running to marathon length (and my tendonitis is rearing its ugly head again), I'll post some more photos describing the process of "gocco'ing" tomorrow.
Don't forget to leave a comment to enter the giveaway! :D Stay tuned.