Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March of the Tools: Print Gocco

I've been putting off this post because it is photo intensive, but I will procrastinate no more and dive right in! Here is how I used my Print Gocco machine to make baby announcements for my son:

For my birthday last year (in June!), I got a Print Gocco machine (model PG-10 Super, which I am told is the same as PG-11). Print Gocco is a fabulous little all-in-one device for screenprinting, usually on paper, although you can print on cloth with the right supplies. Here is my Gocco machine (this image is partway through the process I'm going to try to illustrate):
The first thing I did was draft an image in pencil of the announcement on special gridded paper that is the perfect size for Gocco.
Then, I colored it in with the Riso carbon pen. (Riso is the Japanese brand that manufactures Gocco. Or at least used to. You can still buy Gocco printers and supplies on eBay, though.)
I held it up to my window and colored in the places I wanted to have a second color fill. I would have used my lightbox, but it was buried and I was excited to get going.
The finished masters with the carbon pen.
I printed the blue ink first (I'll show the whole process of printing with the black ink).
Just place a paper on the sticky pad...
And close the machine. After a few prints, I had the right idea of how much pressure to apply.
Lift up, and the new print is stuck to the screen. Just peel it off.
The finished blue prints:
Once dry, I stacked them. You can see the marblizing I was going for by squirting a little white ink on the blue.
So, here is the whole process of printing as I did with the black ink. First, I placed the carbon master on the sticky pad.
Then, I loaded the mesh Gocco screen (it is preloaded with thermal emulsifier). I cleaned the contacts of the bulbs on a piece of scrap paper and loaded them into the reflective housing.
I closed the unit and made sure the master was centered pretty well on the screen.
Then, I attached the lamp housing and pressed down on the unit to complete the electrical circuit and flash the bulbs.
After flashing, I let the spent bulbs cool. The image is now burned.
You can see that the master is stuck to the screen. I left it on for inking so the ink wouldn't come through the mesh and make a mess.
The master plus burned screen ready to be inked.
There is an attached plastic sheet to contain the ink. This really helps keep the mess to a minimum.
I squirted the black ink into a plastic ink cone made by Riso. This enables you to have a finer stream of ink than just using the tube because you can cut as small a hole in the corner as you want. After I run out of ink cones, I'm just going to use Ziploc baggies and cut off the corner. They should work even better because the top can be sealed.
The ink cone all ready to go:
I used this foam ink blocking to keep the ink contained as well. (The black round object is just my lens cap and the long black object is a neat drying rack Riso makes - well, used to make.)
Here is the screen with the ink blocking applied.
The screen after inking. I wanted to have some additional cards without the center writing for coordinating "thank you" cards, so I printed these first.
The inked screen inserted back into the Print Gocco machine. The master is still stuck to the obverse side.
Here is the transparent registration plate. Since I am doing a two-color process, I need to line up the black prints with the blue ones. My first print will be on this removable plate.
I peeled off the master...
... and ka-jink! I printed on the registration plate.
You can see that the black ink on the registration plate is not lined up with the blue print.
But, never fear! I adjusted the printing pad and they lined up.
See the little knobs on the bottom of this photo? They allowed me to re-adjust the printing plate and lock it back down into its new place.
On this photo, you can see that in the upper left corner there is a paper guide to ensure each paper is in the exact same place. I used 4x6 inch index cards for this, so they were all precut to the right side (sadly, not acid free, but that's all I could get late at night). This paper guide is spring loaded and can be tucked down if you want to do one-color printing on larger paper.
I removed the registration plate and printed right on the paper. Success!
After I printed enough cards with a blank center, I inked the lettering on the master screen.
Check back on this same post soon for the exciting conclusion!

1 comment:

Tom Brinton said...

that's so dang cool!