Sunday, January 02, 2011


I had every intention of posting an entire Gocco tutorial based on what I learned, but I have a feeling if I tried now, I'll find I have forgotten most things from when I actually used it back in early November (and when I had intended to write this post). However, I do have a few pictures and links to share.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Gocco, it is a discontinued screen printing machine from Japan. They are hard to get in the US unless you buy one from Ebay. The supplies for it (which aren't cheap), usually also come from Japan and can be found on Ebay or Etsy. Gocco printing can be pretty cool looking, even at its simplest but there's definitely been some true artists using Gocco too.

Here's a couple of tutorials on Gocco, which reminded me of how to use it once I got mine (I had only seen it done once before on a different Gocco model to make a friend's wedding invites):
Here's some great artwork done on Gocco printers:
And some more practical uses for Gocco:
Here's a web site dedicated to saving Gocco printers - "picks, tips, tricks and how to keep gocco around for a while":
And here's an etsy shop that has a lot of printed items, including some Gocco ones:
My entire reason for wanting a Gocco was because I had been looking for some cute recipe cards to match (or at least coordinate with) my vintage recipe card holder. The problem is that 3x5 size recipe cards are harder to come by, and when I have found them, they are only one-sided. So, after a few months of looking, I decided to make my own.

Here are the basics of how I made them...

First, I put the disposable lightbulbs in the top of the printer. These are toxic bulbs and are single-use, similar to the flash bulbs that used to be in old camera flashes.

Then, I placed the top part on the printer and put the filter and blank template inside and the carbon copy (it has to be carbon) on the printer bed. I made the design in Photoshop and then printed it on a laser printer.

Pushing down on the printer top to flash the bulbs makes the template. I found that if I don't use the laser (or photo copy) print within a few days (I didn't test the exact amount of time), the quality of the template won't be as good.

I then placed ink on the template and printed my cards. I bought the blank 3x5 cards in a color that coordinated with the recipe card holder at Sam Flax, which is a high-end art store. It's a good place to get paper products for all applications, and they have a lot of wedding-type paper supplies.

I printed about 100 cards, front and back. They have all the essentials on them: name of recipe, pre-heat time, ingredients, directions, number of servings, and even a place for your calories or weight watchers points.

Here's a close-up:

And here's the final result with the matching recipe card holder. I believe this was made by Avon back in the 70's. These are the same cards as above, but the photos above were taken at night with tungsten lights on (although I had the camera try to correct for this) and the photo below was taken in daylight. Of course, the color is lighting dependent, but in my opinion, the actual color is somewhere between these two colors.

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