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The traditional process of copperplate photogravure can be a complex and time-consuming one, but this alternative and contemporary method uses polymer plates that are processed in water and are both environmentally friendly and quicker to work with.
What Can You Expect?
Both studios have darkrooms with UV lamps and vacuum frames specifically set up for the process and beautiful print studios equipped with Takach presses.
These workshops guide participants through each stage of the process from preparing the original image file in Photoshop, whether from a digital file or a scan, through making the film, exposing the plate, inking and wiping the plate, preparing the paper and finally pulling the print on the etching press. We discuss different inks and how to modify them and different wiping techniques and materials. Although a basic knowledge of Photoshop or printmaking is useful, neither are necessary.
A limited number of polymer plates, the aquatint screens, proofing paper and ink are provided although participants may wish to bring additional printmaking paper and plates once they have become familiar with the process. Paper is available locally and the plates are easily ordered online. Worksheets for every step of the process are provided.
20 Years Experience With Polymergravure
I’ve been printing my work and that of other photographers in this process for twenty years since taking a one-day workshop with Dan Welden in Santa Fe. For the first few years I made analogue film positives the traditional way – in a darkroom using film, an enlarger and chemistry, but in later years that was superseded by digital technology and Photoshop and Epson printers.
I have taught these workshops regularly for about ten years at Highpoint and more recently at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
For more details on the process go to About Polymergravure.
8 Monday evenings – February 11th – April 1st
I’ve recently been having my own aquatint screens made for me and have now decided to offer them to other printmakers too!
These fine micron stochastic screens are designed to be used with the polymergravure process and have been tested with Toyobo KM73 and KM43 plates to produce a full range of tones.