Gocco Printing – Malarky at High Roller Society

all photos: NoLionsInEngland

Last Summer High Roller Society did a fascinating and informative trio of workshop demos on print making. Graffoto loved them and scribbled a few words about them here and here.

Current show at the gallery is “Summer Breeze” featuring the flat fantasmagorical pop creatures of Malarky and Billy and Malarky gave a demo of Gocco print making, used to produce editioned prints such as this one from the show

What is a Gocco print? A print made by Gocco printer I suppose, which is one of these kitsch looking gismos from Japan which uses a clam-shell device to force inks through a silk screen. Style-wise everything about a Gocco printer screams retro toy but don’t be fooled, this is both a screen burner and print maker which can produce multi layer prints limited only by your patience. Apparently the Japanese intended it to be used for producing high quality party invitations and wedding invites.

gocco printer

The intrepid demonstrator Malarky took a group of a dozen or so somewhat bashful watchers through the various stages including burning the screen, inking up the screen, fudging the alignment of the paper and then pressing the Gocco to create the print.

Printing off first layer

This light box sits on top of the Gocco and burns the screen from a photocopy of the artwork, the bulbs have a one shot life and they aren’t cheap!

gocco printer light source
Light source

gocco printer
Burning a screen

Each screen is then subdivided using sticky strips into zones for each colour, no holes in the dyke allowed or colours will bleed into each other

gocco printing inked up screen
Inked up Gocco silk screen

An un-expected lesson was that when printers, pundits and gallerists apply expressions like “uniqueness”, “charm” and “individuality” to screen printed editions, they mean bits where the ink didn’t come out.

Gocco printer first layer
Layer one

The registration process for the second screen was real hit and miss skill and judgement, seems you do a test print, then trim off an edge to correct mis-alignment, push it around abit, try again, eventually you reach a predicament a bit like someone in a barber’s chair staring wistfully at a pile of clippings on the floor and a crew cut mess on the head. If you ever wondered where artist’s proofs came from, there’s your answer.

gocco prints
Artist Proofs!

The gallerist’s husband (congratulations!) kept the information flowing with suitable questions and un-suitable banter. Malarky produced a two layer 3 colour print in the two hours of the workshop, we all had a go at printing a few sheets. And we all had the chance to come away with a copy of the fruits of Malarky’s labours produced before our very eyes.

Malarky goggo print

For an office slave caged in a totally non arty/media environment, these insight into the craftsman’s side of the creative arts are supremely fascinating. High Roller Society deserves huge applause for taking the trouble to host events like this and Malarky is a star for allowing us to watch the artist at work, those working inside the arts world may not appreciate how intriguing and fascinating that is for us civvies. We hope there will be more!

0 replies on “Gocco Printing – Malarky at High Roller Society”

Nice write up. I'd heard of these machines but never seen one. I didn't realise they're made by Riso. They make large scale A4 and A3 duplicators too which use a similar process, a stencil gets burnt into a layer of plastic film that is then stretched over a rotating drum containing the ink. Pretty much like a Gestetner. They were originally designed for office use but were also used for art. Good article here Those one-use bulbs look a bit wasteful though, I wonder if the unit could be modified to take re-usable ones connected to the mains or something. Looks like an interesting process anyway.

woh……………………It is really nice technology to use light and glass tray. I have not knowledge to this technology and quality of the result. I will use at my home print to the small work like banner and leaflet to hard copy.

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