My wife has developed some mastery of this process, and will be producing a significant number of gravures for a show in April. Her blog isn't current, but will become so as she works toward this show. Hers is a hybrid process using a digitally enlarged negative which makes it unsuitable for apug directly, but if you're interested, the link is below. It is anything but simple, however, and requires a good deal of skill in printmaking (as well has owning, or having access to an intaglio press). But, the results can be exquisite, and it is a procedure well worth the effort.
Solarplates are surprising when you start to work with them, they react to light like a slide film does. If you want your print to be darker, expose less! Did Whitey use an Aquatinta screen, and if so, what density / pattern?
Thanks for the post Suzanne. I have been collecting my 'pieces' to start doing polymergravure again. I recently picked up a 12 inch shear that won't bend the plates when cutting. I have access to a UV plate-burner and have a small press as well. Now it's all about finding time. Neat pics by the way. Thanks for sharing!
Originally Posted by jovo
tell your wife, that I am totally in awe, seeing her prints!
I know it can be done great with d'''''''y negatives, but these are not great - they are better than that!
By the way: you actually don't need at real intaglia printing press..
The old "presses" or rollers for wet clothes, can be used, if you make two thin plates of metal, to put over and under the print (the rollers are made of wood..).
Many thanks, Suzanne, for the publicity. Yes, it is poly-gravure, or whatever you choose to call this bastard son of the true gravure process, not the real, copper plate variety. The plates I used yesterday were not Solar Plates (as sold by Dan Weldon and explained here) but Toyobo KM73 plates available through Boxcar Press in Syracuse, NY and other establishments in other parts of the world. The KM73 plates are harder and more suitable for fine detail and continuous tone than are the solar plates, though solar plate printing is great for high contrast or drawn and manipulated prints like those that Emil has posted. Each has its own strength.
I don't know about this process being a Danish invention, Emil, I'll have to take your word for that. I do know that the plates all come from Japan. What you say about the mastery needed, however, is quite true. I have been printing intaglio work since the early 1970's and I am still a beginner. The "really good photographer" part will undoubtably elude me for the rest of my life.
I second John Voss's good words about his wife's work, her prints are inspiring - and really what spurs me on in this. If Susan is giving any workshops, John, let me know. There are many others out there, certainly Kari Holopainen is among them. The positive transparency is the tricky part, to be sure. Computer printed images work well, but so have ortho-litho prints that have been developed for continuous tone. The image I printed yesterday used a positive made with Ultrafine ortho-litho film developed in Sprint paper developer. I've even used copy machine transparencies, but you have to want that look. I want to try the continuous tone positive film being sold by Efke, since I used to use it's Kodak cousin, but I haven't gotten to it yet. Too many ideas, too little time. As for the half-tone screen, Pahedrus, I use a computer generated and image setter printed stochastic screen, purchased from Dan Weldon's website. Without it, you get very high contrast - no mid-tones.
As for the need for a press, I disagree with Emil on this. The pressure needed to really get the mid-tones of a printing plate are considerable. You can print rough textures and the surface inks without much more than the back of a serving spoon rubbed over the paper, but a press is a necessity for a tonally nuanced image. This is why many printmaking courses at local community colleges and art centers are filled with veteran printmakers - access to a press is worth the cost of signing up for yet another course.
Originally Posted by Whiteymorange
"In 1990 the (danish) graphic artist Eli Ponsaing made a revolutionary discovery. He demonstrated that photo-polymer plates can be used for photogravure. His technique has gained ground all over Scandinavia. His book describes how this new method may be applied.
lt is indispensable for everyone working with graphic media interested in discovering new ways of making graphic art.
Eli Ponsaing has been a teacher at the (Copenhagen) Academy of Art for many years."..
text from the first book on polymer gravure published..
see the attachment about the book..
About the press. I am not sure I explained my self quite clear..
I an talking about a press, but about an old version, my grand mother's generation used for sheets and so on...
I know about the considerable press needed, and you can get that with this old maschine, but as the rollers are made of wood, they will ne destroyed rapidly if not "protected" by two pieces of metal..
see an image of the old maschine.
here in Denmark, you can get them for next to nothing....
I've always loved the look of the photogravure. I hope I can take a workshop from Jon Goodman someday. Do I understand that this process ( photo polymer gravure) doesn't require the heavy press that is required for the photogravure process? Thanks, Robert
Wow. Your post is incredible. I am using the exact same materials, stochastic screen, using the same suppliers and am amazed at all the similarities between our processes. Unlike you however, I have not been printing intaglio work since 1970. If you are a beginner, I don't know where that puts me.
I have had less than stellar results with the KM73, and your post is showing me that adding time, to get more density, is counterintuitive. It is however what I have been doing. Perhaps that explains my less than stellar results.
Consider me subscribed to anything you write from now on. I will be watching with keen interest.
Originally Posted by Whiteymorange
Emil. Thanks for the clarification. The wooden rollers I have access to are far less robust. I can see how those would work.
Steve. Adding time in terms of exposure actually reduces density of he final print, since the plate is hardened further than you wish and washing out takes more water and more "scrubbing" (note quotes. you don't really scrub anything.) I'm still experimenting with the proper ratio of time with the positive and time with the screen.... another of those long term experiments. Cutting the plates for smaller images was big problem for me but now I sometimes find a number of smaller images I want to do and expose them all on a single plate, cutting the plate down later, when it's exposed, hardened and ready for ink. Alternately, I'll ink and print the whole plate and simply cut the paper after the printiong process is finished. Paper is much, much easier to cut! The only issue is in finding positives with similar density- ones that will allow exactly the same exposure timing. Cutting the plate first has one advantage - I often get an extra strip from the trimming, useful for exposure testing.
That paragraph taught me more than anything I learned from BoxcarPress. Thanks Whitey.