Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Gotta get a Gocco (before they go go)!

I recently discovered a very talented stationery designer and I do love great stationery. I love the feel of the the paper; I love the color and design. I love closing the envelope, putting a stamp on it and I especially love the feeling that someone will get something pleasing in the mail. I get so swamped with junk mail and solicitations that a beautiful card or letter- especially the ones - just to say hello is so, so, so nice. OK, I digress. My discovery is Eliza Jane Curtis of Morris and Essex who currently lives in Buenos Aires in Argentina. She studied art and design at Parsons in NYC and is especially skilled in screenprinting. Her stationery line is designed using both linoleum block-printing techniques and a Japanese Gocco machine that was given to her 2 years ago by her sister. The Gocco machine is a mini printer invented by Noboru Hayama in 1977 and was at one time very popular in Japan. It is a small contraption that is like a combination of screen-printing and rubber stamping. This machine uses flash bulbs to thermally imprint the image on a master screen. You then apply paint to the master screen and press the screen against the paper that is sitting on a sponge. It is a slow and careful process done by hand but the images are vintage and fresh at the same time.

Unfortunately, Gocco printing won't be around for much longer. In December 2005, Gocco’s parent company, Riso Kagaku Corporation, announced it would end production of the Gocco system due to low sales in Japan. An Internet campaign was started to find another corporation who can make the little printer. As a result of the reemerging demand, in 2007 they resumed production of several lines of Print Gocco units and they were available in Japan and through some stores in the United States. Then May 30, 2008, the Riso Kagaku Corporation announced that it will stop shipping Gocco printers in June 2008. Blaming the home computer and home printer for the drop in demand, they are planning to only offer supplies for the printers until further notice.

So, enjoy those cute little Goccos and the fabulous cards they produce- they won't be around for long. And stop sending e-mail cards! Better yet, give your friends a little Gocco set of cards by Morris & Essex so they too can share the love.

Thanks Eliza for the great pictures!

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