I recently put together a tutorial for using the Print Gocco B6 HiMesh Kit and thought some of you may find it helpful. I just thought it might be useful for those of you who don't understand exactly how it works (which took me awhile to figure out online reading through these threads and on the Gocco website.) Here goes...
This can also be viewed on my website at: http://www.thesmallobject.com/tutorials/GoccoTutorial.html
Before we start, I am not a Gocco expert nor do I want to be held responsible for any incorrect information here. I just wanted to provide a very basic + general overview so you understand how it works. If you get one, read their instructions completely + watch their instructional video! Don't rely on this pitiful page for your expertise. Okay, now that we're all happy + hopeful, here goes...
A few basics, the mechanics of how it works:
How the ink is applied to the paper: This is the part I understood the least before I had this in my hands. But it is like a cross-breed between a stamp and silkscreening. The ink is pushed through a mesh screen like screen printing, but you just "press" the screen down like you would a stamp. The ink is transferred by your applied pressure rather than with a squeegee pulling the ink across the screen.
What can you print: This particular kit allows you to print on paper with an image size of about 3 1/2" by 5 1/2". You can get accessories so you can print on fabric but I haven't done and it's not included in this kit so I'm leaving it out. You either draw using a pen with carbon in the ink (they provide one) or you assemble your image and then xerox it so you have a copy with carbon in it. If you xerox your image, than you can obviously draw using any marker or pen, or print out images from your computer, etc...
How much does it cost: This kit runs about $125. When I was looking on the internet, the cheapest price I cam across was from Welsh Products (http://www.welshproducts.com/printgocco/printgocco_supplies.htm
Now that you have it, what do you do?
STEP ONE: Design your image
I decided to draw my design elements by hand and then scan them into my computer so I can manipulate them in Photoshop. Afterwhich, I printed them out using my laser jet printer and took them to my copy shop to get a xerox of them. You can use a xerox or the pen they provide to draw your design wtih the kit. The important point is the carbon which is what it using to expose the screen. So you have to either use a pen with carbon in its ink or xerox your completed design. Either way, this step is easy and I liked the versatility of how the image could be created.
STEP TWO: Expose the screen
Once you have your image (loaded with carbon bits) you expose your screen using the bulbs they include. While you get 10 bulbs in a kit, you use 2 of them per screen and you can't reuse them. They are like the old camera flash bulbs which are good for one time use--whether you screw up or not.
You place your image on the bottom grey pad (which is slightly sticky).
If you are using a xeroxed design, insert the blue filter into the printer top.
Insert one of the provided screens into the printer top.
You close the top of the unit and make sure that your image is correctly placed by looking through top.
Once the image and screen are loaded properly you place two bulbs into the flash unit hood.
The hood is then placed on top of the unit. At which point the Gooco sandwich layers are: flash hood, plexiglass top, blue filter, screen, xeroxed design, grey cushion bottom.
Press the top of the Gocco down and hold for 3-4 seconds. During this time the bulbs will have flashed but you hold it for a few seconds longer since the heat from the lamps continues to transfer the carbon from your design to the screen.
STEP THREE: Ink the screen
After the screen has been exposed, remove the bulb unit and throw the bulbs away. You can only use them once. Remove the screen and filter from the top of the unit. After your screen is exposed, don't peel off your original design yet. You'll use it so you can see better what areas need to be inked up.
Each screen has a plastic top flap underwhich the ink is placed. Lift the plastic flap of your screen. Squeeze the provided ink onto the screen. Alternately, you can mix up your own color (as I did) and use a palette knife to spread it onto the screen. You are provided tubes of basic colors (red, yellow, blue, black, brown, green + white.) Note this is an image of the screen after it has been printed so the ink has already spread out, but you just squeeze the ink onto the screen.
Once the ink is on the image, you can remove the original design from the bottom. Replace the screen (without the blue filter) into the top of the printer, putting the arrow into the notch as before.
STEP FOUR: Print images
Place the paper you are going to print on onto the grey foam pad. (They provide a registration guide you can use if you were doing a multi-color print.) You now have the following layers (from top to bottom): plexiglass top, plastic film from top of screen, ink, exposed screen, printing paper, grey foam pad.
Lower the top of the printer and press down for 3-4 seconds. During this time, because the ink is sandwiched between the plexiglass insert in the Gocco top and the paper on the bottom, the ink is pushed out through the exposed screen. Again, all you do is apply a bit of pressure and the ink is transferred to the paper.
Lift up the top of the printer and you have your print! It's that easy. From exposing the screen to my first print, it took me only about 30 minutes. Now that's quick! (Note the image below shows a poor quality print, I took the picture after I was done and the screen should have been reinked--but you get the idea!)
STEP FIVE: Storage + Clean-up
They say you can save + print from the screens again so you can just slip it into a ziploc and place it in a cool place (like your refrigerator). I printed off just 25 but they say you can print 50-75. You can also scrap off the leftover ink and reuse it later.
That's it! Compared to silkscreening, it's quicker + less messy. For printing cards and small prints, I would recommend the Gocco.
For this print that I did, I printed onto heavy textured stock so the image wasn't super crisp. Though since I went back into each one and added drawn + other collaged elements it didn't matter. You do also have to be sure your lines are think enough to print. I would say no smaller than 2 centimeters in width--just based on my experience.
Oh! And your supposed to use some special solvent to clean up the ink. It smells like its oil based but I was able to eventually wash it off with soap + water.
I'm know many of you have much more experience than me so help me out if something is outta line! xo, sarah
P.S. Here's an image of my completed print, though its a bit misleading. Be aware that is just a one-color image I printed. I added on hand + machine embroidery along with collaged elements to make up the additional colors and textures.