Direct to Plate Photogravure, Sept. 25-28 2023
Learn Piezography-quality intaglio gravure photopolymer plate printing, calibration, and etching.
SYLLABUS WHAT TO BRING ACCOMMODATIONS, HOURS, & INFO Cancellation Policy
Registration Fee: $450, Total Fee: $1750
In this workshop we teach the Piezography method for producing photogravure plates by printing the positive image directly onto a pre-sensitized plate. No experience in inkjet printing, Piezography printing, or gravure printing is necessary to take the workshop but it always helps to have a bit of knowledge in one or more of these fields!
Using high-fidelity professional inkjet printers and special monochrome inks made in-house at Cone Editions, the positive image is printed directly to a special "Green Mountain Polymer" plate, then is exposed and developed just in water. Since we started this process in 2018, we've continually upgraded the workflow (now at version 5.1). With this process, a perfect screen-to-gravure print match can be achieved in under an hour. The plate rivals the best copper plates in history, and each plate can produce 10s to 100s of edition prints in the etching studio. There is no requirement for film, mezzotint screen, or vacuum frame.
Read about our initial development of the process here
A Few Things You Get to Learn . . .
A new and fast way of photogravure plate production. Imaging for photogravure. High end inkjet printing. Ink mixing. Etching paper handling. Ink wiping for photopolymer. Plate handling. Editioning. Print drying. Deckle cutting and curating and print packing/handling. Plate calibration from start to finish. Etching studio setup and best practices.
What to Expect . . .
This is a hands-on workshop. We teach you and then you do the work and learn it first-hand. And unlike other workshops where you may spend a full week to only get two plates and four prints made, in this workshop you may well walk out after four days with 7-10 plates and 14-20 prints if you are inclined to really only work in the etching studio. That said, we really recommend you spend time learning the technical aspects of calibration if you are wanting to set up this workflow in your own studio. It will take at least a full day worth of time to learn the calibration side-of-things. You have the choice of focusing more on etching or balancing your time between etching and learning calibration and studio setup. Either way, you will still end up with a lot of plates and prints at the end. One thing we strongly recommend and teach is that you work your plates through a few prints. This gives you your "artist proofs" and you start to learn the real gravure edition process. That concept will all be made clear in the class.
Day 1: Necessary Knowledge
A little knowledge goes a long way. A lot of knowledge goes further. The right knowledge is essential to a good start as well as advanced image development. This day is devoted to making sure your first step is on the correct path. Today we will demonstrate the entire process to you, after orienting you to the lay of the land. Cone Editions Press is a large studio encompassing several floors and levels. We'll be working in the imaging studio, the inkjet studio, the wet process lab, and the intaglio studio. We'll walk through the entire process today so that you get an initial impression of the procedures you'll be learning the following day.
Introductions of workshop attendees and instructors and viewing attendees portfolios (optional)
Installation of Piezography Professional Toolset Special Gravure Class Edition, Print Tool, Piezography ICC profiles, Piezography Targets, and Documentation onto each workshop participant's laptop.
Connection to the Cone Editions Print Server via network, and connection to pre-calibrated hardware calibration displays to each workshop participant's laptop.
Cone Editions Press studio tour and introductions to support staff. And a very important introduction to the superautomatica coffee maker (Ethiopian Harar medium roast).
Tour of the Cone Editions Press intaglio studio.
Demonstration of paper preparation, and wet pack paper soaking method.
Demo of the Direct-to-Plate printing workflow, exposure, plate processing, drying, and hardening.
Demonstration of ink mixing, hand wiping, paper calendaring, and pulling a print.
Print drying and flattening techniques.
Day 2: Necessary Practice
I know I can fly! Just a little reminder here and there - but it’s time for less talking and more rocking. Today it’s time to begin printing with the systems on your own. Today participants begin working in the process with supervision.
Supported printers & System Requirements.
Refillable ink cartridge and Piezography Ultra HD™ Matte Black ink. How to include it in your regular color workflow, and how it will benefit your regular color workflow.
Printer drivers and Settings setup.
Direct to plate workflow setup
Setting up Lightroom and or Photoshop.
Preparing Images for printing.
Print to Screen Display and Calibration.
Preliminary imaging instruction and techniques for photogravure.
Saving Images to Print.
Participants will print their saved images directly to plates.
Participants will expose, process, dry and harden their photogravure plates.
Participants will trim and prepare the corners of their plates.
Day 3: Dig a Little Deeper
Now take what you’ve learned and go forth and make prints! Today it comes together in the form of photogravure prints. And you will learn how to calibrate the process.
Reintroduction to inking and wiping and intaglio press procedures.
Participants will begin printing their own plates.
First run of prints will be put into the flattener.
Introduction to the Piezography Professional Edition Toolset Gravure Class Edition.
Direct to plate Calibration.
A second round of plates are printed by participants using the calibration, exposed, processed, dried and hardened.
Participants will also begin to experiment with different inks adding Warm blacks, Cool blacks or other colors into the mix.
Day 4: Workflow & Wrap-up
From Layout to Finish: on this day we finalize a custom tailored workflow for your specific studio needs and art practice. Leave with a "prescription" of items you need to get set up in your home environment.
Participants will print on their own in the intaglio studio.
Staff members will demonstrate curating techniques, tearing paper and packing.
Back into the classroom for questions and examples and demos to tie loose ends.
All participants are encouraged to choose a few prints that show their growth over the past four days for a quick group discussion of their work. Participants can either bring previous work to display in conversation with some of their newer prints or just show their new gravures.
Participants can pack up their plates and prints in travel safe boxes. (Or Cone Editions Staff can pack their work for a small packing and shipping fee and send it to the participant once they are back home)
What to Bring
A Laptop (Macintosh preferred): The studio does not provide computers. You should bring a laptop. But, the studio does provide calibrated displays which can be connected to your laptop! That make’s things easier especially when using the studios systems which are designed to match to display. We have enough USB-C/Thunderbolt v2 and v3 adapters for all laptops (aka any Mac laptop from 2012 onwards) but if you have a non-standard computer bring a connector that goes from your laptop and connects into the female "DisplayPort" fitting on the monitor.
Digital Images and original work: Bring a hard-drive of digital images (at least 10 to work on). Ideally bring images that you've printed before and know well and bring raw images that you want to work on from scratch. Bring some film too if you are a medium or large-format photographer as we always do a bit of drum scanning for people if they want to utilize film originals later in the week. If you are not doing "photo" printing that is fine. As long as you have some way to work with your images digitally that is all that is required. Remember though, this is a monochrome class. If you only have color images that is fine, we'll be converting them to black and white for printing.
Install the required software: We require Photoshop be installed on your computer for some of our demos. Lightroom is a good alternative as well but there are things that Photoshop can still do today that Lightroom can't. If you are normally a Photoshop person that is fine. If you a Lightroom person bring a laptop with both installed. Install Excel (it does not have to be activated). Everything else will be provided to you!
Accommodations, Hours, and Info
LOCATION AND HOURS:
The studio is located at 17 Powder Spring Road, Topsham, Vermont 05076. It is registered with Google Maps and you can trust Google directions to our studio. The studio is open to students, and instruction is provided from 12:00 PM - 500 PM. Your instructor sets time for demonstrations, a mid-day snack, critiques and clean up. On Wednesday we try to have a paella party in the Summer when weather permits. In the Fall we try to do something similar. But, we do keep the studio open later on Wednesdays. We also encourage sharing your work on Wednesday early evening. So plan for staying a bit later on Wednesday to share, eat, or get a bit more printing done! Your traveling partners are welcome to the Wednesday night party.
Our nearest airport (75 minutes) is Burlington International Airport (BTV) in Burlington, VT. Other airports are Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT) (130 minutes) and Boston-Logan (180 minutes). There are car rentals as well as private taxis and shuttles between the airport in Burlington, VT and East Topsham.
The amount of lodging near us is very limited. You must make reservations early if you want to be within walking distance of our studio. There is a small B&B with friendly owners and excellent breakfast and 5 minute walk: http://www.vermontbackintime.info/
Rest Haven is the closest Inn to our studio. They are located in West Topsham (an 18 minute drive) They can provide meals. They have five different guest rooms.
Lake Morey Resort (25 minute drive)
Gibson House Bed & Breakfast (30 minute drive)
Millstone Inn, heart of the old Websterville granite quarries (25 minutes drive)
Firehouse Inn, an old firehouse converted into a restaurant and inn (25 minutes drive)
Maplecroft Bed & Breakfast (25 minutes drive)
The Lyme Inn (40 minute drive)
Dowd's Country Inn (40 minute drive)
Breakfast on the Connecticut Inn (40 minute drive)
Norwich Inn and Brewery (40 minutes drive)
Betsy's Bed and Breakfast (45 minutes drive)
The Inn at Montpelier (45 minutes drive)
Capital Plaza Hotel (45 minutes drive)
Hannover Inn (upscale and fine dining) (45 minutes drive)
Six South Hotel (45 minutes drive)
Stillwater State Park (camping) (20 minutes drive)
Because these workshops are small and your cancelling adversely affects the program, Cone Editions has both a very generous and a very strict cancellation policy.
We collect a deposit payment if you sign up more than 30 days in advance of a workshop. All workshops must be fully paid 30 days in advance.
If you withdraw more than 30 days prior to the start date of your workshop, all payments made will be refunded, minus a cancellation fee equal to 50% of the deposit.
If you withdraw between 30 and 15 days prior to the start date of the workshop, all payments made will be refunded, minus a cancellation fee equal to 50% of the workshop tuition, unless Cone Editions or you can supply a replacement, in which case you will receive a full refund minus a cancellation fee equal to 50% of the regular deposit amount associated with that workshop.
If you withdraw less than 15 days prior to the start date of the workshop you will receive no refund, unless Cone Editions or you can supply a replacement, in which case you will receive a full refund minus a cancellation fee equal to 50% of the regular deposit amount associated with that workshop.
There are no exceptions to these policies and Cone Editions is not responsible for cancellations due to medical or other emergencies. Should Cone Editions have to cancel a workshop, all fees and deposits are refunded in full or may be transferred to another workshop within 12 months. Cone Editions is not responsible for reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets in the event of a workshop cancellation. We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation/travel insurance.