Renaissance Press Photogravure

Copper Plate Photogravure Workshop Review - Chuck Chambers


As a photographer and computer-literate Photoshop user, I wanted to broaden my use of an etching press printing process. I had recently tried solarplate, Puretch, and Smart plate from both my film and digital negatives.

In my search for an accomplished photogravure instructor, I found Paul Taylor. The Renaissance Press web site lists the many Workshops that Paul provides to his students. Yes, students. I was and still am one.

Paul had taught at both U Conn and RISD. The quality of his artistic prints can be seen on the Renaissance Press website. What came through in the first hour of the first day of my five-day workshop, is that Paul teaches in a way that allows a varied experience level of students to learn this involved process.

To be successful in photogravure demands attention to a wide variety of procedures. Each step requires a clear purpose and a steady hand. Yes, mistakes are allowed - we each learn from them, but the understanding occurs when Paul helps the student place the mistake in both context and perspective. There is no wrong result, just a lesser success.

I was able to make two plates that yielded very pleasant prints. The collaborative nature of Paul’s Workshop sped my learning process along. The social nature of the entire experience gives me such a wonderful memory that I can not wait to return for more experience in this and other processes.

All that is needed is Paul and his team of interns. Wow - what a fantastic opportunity for any artist wishing to learn.