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!