Karen Hymer Teaches Photopolymer Gravure

Posted

This past Saturday, March 26 we had the pleasure of hosting a Photogravure workshop taught by Tucson artist Karen Hymer! The weekend began with a lecture by Karen on Friday night – she talked about the history of photogravure and the evolution of her artwork as she continues to use the process.

Seven students joined us for the workshop and got hands-on experience making photopolymer plates from their images, then pulling prints from the plates. Karen taught the process using Solarplates, which are steel plates coated with a light-sensitive polymer emulsion. When exposed, the polymer hardens; the unexposed polymer washes away in water, leaving an “etched” plate ready for inking after the plate has dried in the sun. Ink is then applied to the plate and wiped from the highlight areas. Finally, paper is laid on top of the plate and both are run through an etching press.

We are forever grateful to our friends at Cattletrack Arts Compound and Santo Press for lending us their etching press – we could not have done this workshop without their help!

HymerPhotogravure_800-00776

Karen demonstrates the “development” of the Solarplate in water

HymerPhotogravure_800-

Exposed and developed plates harden in the sun

HymerPhotogravure_800-00778

Karen demonstrates inking the plate

HymerPhotogravure_800-00815

Participant Shari Trennert prepares to run her plate through the press

HymerPhotogravure_800--2

Shari has made a print from a “test strip” plate to check her exposure before committing to a full plate

HymerPhotogravure_800-00834

Jean-Charles Chapuis, Cyd Peroni, Tom Moore, and Gina DeGideo hard at work inking their plates

HymerPhotogravure_800-00797

Chris Palmer and Karen compare a test print with another print of the same image to check for contrast and density

HymerPhotogravure_800-00829

Gina uses a cotton swab to fine-tune her ink application

HymerPhotogravure_800-00843

Cyd lays a sheet of fine-art water color paper over her inked plate before running it through the press

HymerPhotogravure_800-00844

Participants enjoy letting their creativity run free and working in a community environment

HymerPhotogravure_800-00851

Participants let their finished prints dry before taking them home