Hey there! I’m starting a little series on screen-printing tips. I’m a self-professed amateur screen-printer, but have learned a few things here and there that I’d love to share with you. I’ll be listing them under the “Screen + Printing Tips” in the Categories tab on the sidebar to this blog. Here’s the first entry!
So you want to screen-print but you have no idea how to get started? Or maybe you’re intimidated by all the gear you need to stretch and burn your own screens? Here are two devices that many artists and crafters use to create screen-prints at home without the mess of coating and burning their own screens:
The Gocco is a compact screening station + exposure unit that is the perfect size for printing cards, moleskine notebooks and small-sized prints. Most kits come with an exposure unit, several screens you can expose, print-making paint (although thick, screen-printing paint for paper also works as well), a plastic squeegee, and a file holder for holding your finished prints. You can even find kits that will print fabric. Zakka Zakka has compiled a list of the diffent Goccos here, along with brief rundown of the Gocco’s history.
Although the Japanese company that created them has discontinued making them, they still continue to create the supplies. You can also find Goccos and supplies for sale on Etsy and Ebay.
More information on the Gocco (along with a campaign to save it started by artist Jill Bliss) is here on the Save Gocco website: http://www.savegocco.com/
Julie Schneider of Etsy does a great job showing you how to use the Gocco in this wonderful video!
Nancy Flynn for GetCrafty.com also has step-by-step instructions here.
Another screening station you might want to consider if you’re printing on t-shirts or textiles is the…
Yudu! This all-in-one unit came out around 2008 and basically does the same thing the Gocco does. Instead of exposing screens within an instant by holding down a bright, disposable lighbulb, the Yudu exposes them over a period of minutes through a lighting system underneath. It works more like your standard screen-printing lightbox, but without the mess of coating your own screens. The Yudu has a larger printing area and can print on fabric or paper, depending on the type of paint you use.
**Overall, the Gocco and Yudu are great tools if you’re getting started with screen-printing and don’t want to deal with the messier elements of exposing and burning your own screens. After looking at a cost break-down, I think a traditional screen-printing set-up would probably be cheaper over time if you’re printing more than a few items a month. But both are wonderful tools to try things out instantly. Here are some links for you to get started!
For more info on the Gocco:
Gocco Flickr Group
Paper Source: Gocco Ink and Supplies
For more info on the Yudu: