After many years of traditional shooting / printing (6x6, 4x5) I'm intersted in trying the Photogravure process.
My questions are:
What is an approximate cost for materials to produce a print? (16x20 or so)
How long does it take to complete a print?
Are the chemicals used very toxic?
I've looked here and searched on the web, and can't seem to find answers to these specific questions. I'm just trying to get some idea of what this would cost and take in time.
I live in the San Francisco area, and would love to hear from others nearby if they have any info. or links that would help-
One thing you might try is contacting Brooks Jensen at LensWork. They have done this in the past. I own a photogravure of John Whimberley's "Descending Angel" tha I'm pretty sure they produced. I believe Brooks knows a lot about the process and equipment and could give you a ballpark on the investment. If you find out anything, please post it here. I've always been curious, but never seriously intersted in getting into it. I think the floorspace required would be a problem for me.
Do you have an etching press and experience etching, aquatint or other intaglio processes? I'm working up to photogravure but don't have a press right now.
No, just printed traditional silver so far.
Originally Posted by Mateo
I saw a photogravure recently and it just knocked my socks off. It was done on warm paper, beautiful tones, soft and contrasty all at the same time.
From what I've been able to find out about it, there are many steps involved, very time consuming, I would imagine not very inexpensive (but not sure on that). Also you need a large press of sorts to complete the final step.
Since ther aren't many resources that I can find, I'm assuming it's not done much these days. I'm not planning on doing this in my home- I'd like to find a workshop or class to learn how to do it.
I think Mike is correct to contact Brooks Jensen, I don't recall the guys name that was doing them for Lenswork, but he has gone off on his own (which is one reason they don't have them any longer - I think). Sorry I don't recall his name, but he had a good description on his website of the process. Point over to Lenswork and see if they can help, - then let us know what you find.
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Actually I just read about this 20 minutes ago! His name is Russ Dodd, and he was doing the Lens Work images, but now has chosen to move on to smaller projects. He works at Working Theory Press.
Originally Posted by photomc
I can find short descriptions of the process, just no mention of costs or time involved to make a print. I found one place in Berkeley called Kala Art Institute that does a workshop once a year or so, I might try that one.
Earlier this year, I had Russ Dodd make a small edition set of gravure prints from a palladium print of mine, and I have to say that his work is fantastic.
You could start by reading the excellent book " Copper Plate Photogravure: Demystifying The Process", by David Morrish. Also google "solar plate photogravure" for info about a similar, but less toxic type of gravure. There is a member here on APUG making photogravures, whose work i have seen in the gallery. His name is Lasse Mellberg and the work is in the "Experimental" gallery.
It's a very involved process, and you need the use of an intaglio press ( and you have to know how to use it to pull a print ). It's a discipline that requires photographic skills AND intaglio printmaking skills, but the results can be spectacular. Good luck!
Sure many looking at the process have found this link but for those that have not...
Another question to consider, I think, is whether the process is being used to produce moderate numbers of prints from the same negative with high consistency between prints vs. individual prints as an alternate process.
Photogravure has always struck me as being an excellent alternative for the former, rather than the latter. I'm not sure I'd see it as a subsitute for original silver (or alt process) prints, however.
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