Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research

Photogravure CPD

Continuing Professional Development

Date:29th June to the 2nd July 2010
Venue: CFPR, UWE Bristol
Instructor Dr Paul Thirkell

(One Week Masterclass)
Covering Traditional Copperplate and Contemporary Photopolymer techniques

Photogravure is a photo intaglio technique which gained prominence through the work of photographers such as PH Emmerson, Julia Margaret Cameron and Paul Strand in the late 19th century. Because of its remarkable ability to print in continuous tone, the process has continued to be used by artists for a broad range of work from photographic through to finely rendered autographic styles.

This four-day masterclass will provide hands on instruction in the original Talbot Klic photogravure method, revealing the chain of steps essential for the creation of finely etched copper plates that can print continuous tone images in ink on paper. As well as the traditional copperplate method, delegates will gain working insights into how contemporary photopolymer plates can be used to duplicate the classic characteristics of photogravure for the production of finely toned intaglio images.

The masterclass will include an overview of the current options and parameters for creating and transferring images for photogravure (copperplate and photopolymer). Delegates will have the option of using photographic films, digital positives or autographic methods to transform their images into gravures.

The course will cover:
An introduction to the photogravure aesthetic and an overview of its practice including Health and Safety precautions for each phase of the process.

Making positives to suit the photogravure technique

Techniques for sensitising, drying and exposing the pigment tissue used for photogravure.

Copper plate preparation, transferring the exposed pigment tissue to the copper plate, image development

drying procedures

Multi bath ferric chloride etching technique

Printing the copperplate photogravure

Photopolymer exposure techniques – image and aquatint screen exposures

Photopolymer plate development

Plate curing

Printing the photopolymer gravure plate

During the course you will be given time to work through each step of the process to produce samples of the techniques covered. Full technical support will be given throughout the course. Participants will be sent a preliminary materials list and a guide to the options available for producing artwork for the process.
The course is open to all however some experience with intaglio printing would be an asset.


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