Learn how to turn your old film negatives or phone images into stunning polymer photogravure prints in this hands-on Direct To Plate workshop.

Jul 29, 2024 - Aug 2, 2024

Levels: Beginner, Intermediate,
Workshop Fee: $1595
Workshop Duration: 1-week (Monday-Friday)
Workshop Location: On-campus
Class Size: 8

Polymer photogravure is a modern take on the traditional copperplate photogravure process, which allows us to blend the best of modern technologies and materials with traditional craft to produce stunning hand-pulled prints. 

The popular direct to plate (DTP) method has made the polymer gravure process even more accessible by doing away with the need for transparencies, aquatint screens, and vacuum units. A front-loading Epson printer and a source of UV light (even the sun) are all that’s needed to create our plate.

Process - Bamboo - By Jeanne Wells

In this class, you will learn a very simple and intuitive method of working. You will not need a lot of Photoshop experience. The original image can be a scanned negative, a digital file, an old family photograph, or a cellphone image – really anything you’d like. The plate will then be exposed to UV light, washed (“etched”) in water, and exposed again for hardening. As we work, we’ll address all the common difficulties people can have with polymer plates and how to avoid them.

Process - Shiramine winter - By Jeanne Wells

Gnossienne no 1 Clover - By Jeanne Wells

Once the plate is created, a lot of attention will be paid to learning hand-wiping techniques, working with “flaws,” and experimenting with the notion of perfections other than the technical perfection of digital output.  You’ll become part photographer and part printmaker, encouraged to see how many different ways you can ink and wipe the same plate until you find the one that sings.

Calla - By Jeanne Wells

This workshop can be a great way for those who have learned other methods of polymer gravure to broaden their skills. You will connect with a group of like-minded peers and with an instructor who is committed to your success and will help you continue printing once the class is finished. 

Students who have taken this workshop or those with photopolymer gravure experience who would like to learn more advanced techniques should take the advanced class Photopolymer Gravure Mentorship & Personal Projects workshop offered Sept 23-27, 2024.

Leaf poster by Jeanne Wells

Print of an apple hanging from a tree

Milkweed - By Jeanne Wells

3_0226212067 - By Jeanne Wells

Listen - By Jeanne Wells

All Images copyright Jeanne Wells

This Workshop is Sponsored by:

Awagami Factory Logo

Fine Art Washi Papers, Digital Inkjet Papers, Origami, Stationery, Papercrafts, Stationery and Washi Decor crafted in Tokushima, Japan - for Photographers, Fine Artists, and Designers. Visit Awagami.com to learn more.

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Instructor: Jeanne Wells

Jeanne Wells is familiar with and uses many alternative photographic processes, but for the past 12 years has worked mainly with an intaglio press. She first learned the polymer photogravure process from artist Josephine Sacabo and her assistant, Meg Turner at Josephine's studio in New Orleans. She has also studied with Clay Harmon at North Light Photographic Workshops, master printer Paul Taylor at Renaissance Press, and direct-to-plate pioneer Silvi Glattauer of Baldessin Press in Melbourne, Australia.

Through daily practice and combining the best of her mentors’ methods, Jeanne has found a unique way of working and teaching which relies upon the craftsman’s way of working with the hands and the artist’s way of seeing and thinking, and less upon the technological exactitude of digital workflow. The result is a way of working that is intuitive, tactile, and nuanced in a way that is nearly impossible to accomplish unless working by hand.