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Photography

Polymer Gravure printing

7 years, 7 months ago photography, photography course 4

I can’t exactly remember when I first came across polymer gravure printing. It is a modern variant of the copperplate gravure process that the photographers¬† Alvin Langdon Coburn and Edward Steichen used to great effect in the early 20th century. Maybe it was the book of Mr Coburn’s work I was given whilst at college.¬† All I know is that it has been driving me nuts for at least two years, as several attempts haven’t got me very far.

Two weeks ago I attended a three day course at Rabley Drawing Gallery in Marlborough, run by printer Martyn Grimmer with the intention of of improving my understanding of this dark art. A steep learning curve, but after returning yesterday for another session, I managed to ‘pull’ my first (fairly good) print! The results:

 

The plate, shown here drying in the sun.

The plate, shown here drying in the sun.

 

 

The plate being inked before taken through a print press

The plate being inked before taken through a print press

 

A print not quite right - apparently this is called mid-tone measles. The only cure is to start again.

A print not quite right - apparently the patches are called mid-tone measles. The only cure is to start again.

 

And when it comes out as it should.

And when it comes out as it should.

 

Details, showing the embossing

Detail

 

Details, showing the texture of the ink in the photograph

Details, showing the texture of the ink in the photograph

 

4 Responses

  1. Guy Bennington says:

    not an easy process, but the results look amazing Paul. Fun to do as well? Look forward to an exhibition of them at some point I hope!

  2. I quite like the ‘mid-tone measles’!

  3. Paul Debois says:

    Apparently this is the bain of a polymer gravure printer’s life!

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