Gocco: What Is It and Why Don't We Have One?

The beloved (but alas hard to find) printing machine may be coming back to the states according to the reliable sources of Savegocco.com. Which is great news for serious crafters and dabblers alike.
Gocco print, when it was introduced in the 70's, offered an easy in-home color print system. Because all you need is an original image, the uses of the printer are limited only by its user. Gocco print uses the heat from flashbulbs within the printer to create a master from the original. Similar to silk screening, the user then sandwiches ink between the master and a plastic to transfer the image onto paper, fabric, wood, and almost anything else.
Initially, gocco print was THE way to make invitations and cards at home, but as with many in-home creative products, its popularity declined as computers provided easier methods of creating complex images at home. You can read the whole history of Riso, gocco's parent company, here.
Interestingly the home computer may be the reason for the little printers' current resurgence in popularity though. This is not to say that we do not love our own little computer/printer set up, but it lacks a little something when it comes to generating images we'd write home about, or on.
It is this little something bringing back gocco printing--but what is it? Gocco prints are somewhat unique and usually only a finite number are made. Many of the gocco prints you find available are individually designed by the person who made them. But the exact same two statements could be made about anything printed from a conventional home computer. So, identify this little something that makes gocco prints different and you identify the difference between wearing a sweater your mother made you and wearing a sweater your mother gave you. Identify this and put your finger on the pulse of millions of crafters.
Gocco, translated loosely, is the make believe and play we participate in to learn rules and common knowledge. The originator of the print gocco system, Noboru Hayama says "this 'gocco' play is a source of intellectual education and its spirit is, I believe, an important national heritage. Therefore, I decided to use the word gocco as part of this product name."
Thus a gocco print is, like any craft valued equally as the efforts of the printer and the image or message of the card.
Read more about the gocco print system here. Or get your gocco on with crafters online at flickr, or with a kit from Felt Cafe.

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