Gocco has become quite a buzzword in 2007 — I’m predicting there will be lots of Gocco-printed goodies tucked under trees & stuffed into stockings this season!
For the uninitiated, the Gocco is a small-format screen printing press originating from Japan. In the pre-PC 1970s, it was marketed as a household printer for the whole family (the word “gocco” loosely translates as “make-believe play”) but it dropped out of favour in the 80s & 90s as digital technology took hold. The 21st century has seen a revival of interest in the Gocco, with artists and crafters embracing its idiosyncratic, low-tech charm. Unlike traditional screen-printing, you don’t need a large workspace to use it — best of all, it’s FUN!
I’ve been Goccoing for almost 3 years now; when I first joined Etsy, a “gocco” search unearthed only a few pages of listings. It’s a different story these days: you’ll find a plethora of wonderful Gocco-made items that are as diverse as the artists who make them.
I have a particular love of Gocco prints incorporating different media (collage, paint, embroidery, etc) and printed on vintage papers, as it adds a unique depth and dimension.
Teatime mini quilt by Cakelove
Embroidered Head by selflesh
Peacock Volcano Collage by jessgonacha
Mini-Trend Alert: Brown Kraft. I’m seeing quite a few Gocco artists taking advantage of the beautiful textures of Kraft.
Ride On art card by twoguitars
One of the best things about the Gocco is its versatility — it’s not just for paper, you know! You’ll find Gocco printed fabric and ceramics too.
Red King Mushroom Pincushion/Air Freshener by Cutesypoo
Pink 10 Carat Felt Broach by myimaginaryboyfriend
Keyboard Pouch by TooToo
Anyone who has held a Gocco print in their hands will tell you how special it is. There’s something about the textures and print variations, which gives a Gocco print warmth, uniqueness, and that undefinable magic only handmade objects possess.
There’s a goldmine of Goccoed greeting cards and stationery available — a huge variety of all-occasion items, as well as cards and gift tags perfect for the holidays.
You can also buy your Gocco supplies from Etsy. What a great gift idea too — I’d love to find my Christmas stocking crammed with inks!
Bulbs from alittlegoodness
Inks from printaddictjapan
Set from Feltcafe
With its popularity booming, I’m pretty sure 2008 is going to be the Year of the Gocco. Believe me, once bitten by the Gocco bug, you’ll be loco for Gocco too!
Etsy Labs’ Juliesincharge recently had a gocco class at the Labs!
Loco for Gocco Street Team: http://team.etsy.com/profilest/gocco.shtml
Loco for Gocco Flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/loco4gocco/
Loco for Gocco Blog: http://locoforgocco.blogspot.com/
Loco for Gocco IndiePublic Page: http://www.indiepublic.com/group/locoforgocco
Flickr Discussion Group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/gocco/discuss/
Multi-Screen Print Demo:
Instruction Sheets & Videos:
Gocco in Action Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8uTiYOKSxQ
Printing Tutorial: http://www.thesmallobject.com/tutorials/GoccoTutorial.html
Printing Tutorial: http://www.jenleheny.com/archives/166
MagicJelly is South Australian Illustrator & Artist Karena Colquhoun. She is a certified Gocco fanatic whose work is fuelled by cups of tea, old radio plays & jazz. Check out Magic Jelly’s blog: http://magicjelly.typepad.com/