I have just finished a two-day course at Lux Darkroom in Islington, learning (well, beginning to learn) how to make photopolymer gravure prints from photographs. It was a fascinating weekend with the worrying possibility that I could become troublingly addicted to print-making.
To quote from Lux Darkroom “the photogravure process, developed in the 1870s, involved etching a photographic image into a copper plate, from which prints could then be produced. The modern equivalent – photopolymer gravure – replaces the copper plate, making the process faster and easier to learn”. The photopolymer plates serve like copper as an etched plate to which ink can then be applied and a print made. The colour and type of ink can be varied each time, as can the amount of ink applied and rubbed out, allowing enormous creativity in the end result. In a world of polished digital images it is a wonderful reversion to unique hand made images.
There were just five of us on the course – and we were taught by Peter Moseley, a true master plate-maker and print-maker and self-confessed obsessive in alternative photographic processes. Peter combines an excellent print-maker’s eye with deep technical knowledge and is very generous with his knowledge and insights. He is supported by Constanza Isaza, who owns Lux Darkroom with her husband, and who is herself an accomplished plate and print-maker and generous teacher.
An exhilarating, creative weekend! I can’t wait to go back for more.