1st Edition

Copper Plate Photogravure Demystifying the Process

By David Morrish, Marlene MacCallum Copyright 2003
    250 Pages
    by Routledge

    250 Pages
    by Routledge

    Copper Plate Photogravure describes in comprehensive detail the technique of traditional copper plate photogravure as would be practiced by visual artists using normally available facilities and materials. Attention is paid to step-by-step guidance through the many stages of the process. A detailed manual of technique, Copper Plate Photogravure also offers the history of the medium and reference to past alternative methods of practice.

    Copper Plate Photogravure: Demystifying the Process is part of the current revitalization of one of the most satisfyingly beautiful image-making processes. The range of ink color and paper quality possibilities is endless. The potential for handwork and alteration of the copper plate provides yet another realm of expressive variation. The subject matter and the treatment are as variable and broad as photography itself. This book's purpose is to demystify and clarify what is a complex but altogether "do-able" photomechanical process using currently available materials. With Copper Plate Photogravure, you will learn how to:

    · produce a full-scale film positive from a photographic negative
    · sensitize the gravure tissue to prepare it for exposure to the positive
    · prepare the plate and develop the gelatin resist prior to etching
    · prepare the various strengths of etching solutions and etch the plate to achieve a full tonal scale
    · rework the plate using printmaking tools to correct flaws or to adjust the image for aesthetic reasons
    · use the appropriate printing inks, ink additives, quality papers, and printshop equipment to produce a high
    quality print

    A historical survey and appendices of detailed technical information, charts, and tables are included, as well as a list of suppliers and sources for the materials required, some of which are highly specialized. A comprehensive glossary
    introduces the non-photographer or non-printmaker to many of the terms particular to those fields and associated with this process.

    Brief Process Description
    History Context
    Safety Issues
    Making the Positive
    Sensitizing the Tissue
    Making the Resist
    Selecting and Preparing the Copper
    Exposing the Tissue with Positive Screen
    Using Screens or Applying Dust- Grain Aquatints
    Adhering and Developing the Resist
    Preparing the Ferric Chloride
    Staging the Plate
    Etching the Plate
    Making the First Proof
    Reworking the Plate
    Editioning the Print
    Making Positives
    Mixing the Sensitizer
    Preparing the Copper
    Exposing the Tissue
    Applying an Aquatint
    Dry Lay-down
    Staging the Plate
    Adjusting Baumé
    Printing and Creative Explorations
    Steel Facing the Plate
    Trouble-shooting Charts
    Making a Random-patterned hard-dot Screen
    Testing Procedures
    Exposure Calculation Table
    Flashing as Contrast Control
    Note-keeping Charts
    Step Scale Density Charts
    Converting Specific Gravity to Baumé
    Recipies and Formulae
    Paper Chart for Photogravure Printing


    David Morrish is a professor at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University of Newfoundland and past head and chair of the Visual Arts Program. He teaches all levels of photography, and has taught several senior level students the photogravure process. He has also taught and worked with alternative photographic processes such as cyanotype and gum bichromate printing. His photographic and photogravure work has been shown across Canada and internationally, and he has been supported by several Canada Council Grants.
    Marlene MacCallum is a professor at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University of Newfoundland and past chair of the Visual Arts Program. Her primary teaching area is printmaking, all media and levels, and her secondary areas are introductory photography and drawing. She has taught the photogravure process to several senior level students and in workshops. She lectures and exhibits nationally and internationally. Her photogravure prints and book works have won a variety of awards, including the Grand Prize at the first International Contemporary Print Biennial in Trois-Rivières, Quebec and Honorable Mention from the Nexus Book Prize in Atlanta, Georgia.