Renaissance Press Photogravure

Copper Plate Photogravure Workshop Review - Gilles Lauren

The best investment I made last year, both in time and money, was to spend five days at Renaissance Press. Paul Taylor organized a rather intensive private photogravure workshop based on my needs. I have a passion for crafting images using historical processes, and while I have basically taught myself all I know, I felt that it would be best to seek a renowned practitioner of copper plate photogravure to study with. Paul makes photogravure look easy. It is not. Paul has been teaching for years, both publicly and privately, and it shows: As we began to work Paul handed me a pen and pad and told me that taking notes was essential. His teaching was methodic. As the days passed, Paul adapted his teaching based on how I was assimilating the information. What I appreciated most was Paul’s aimed simplicity of technique and workflow. His knowledge of photography and contemporary art is extensive. Looking about the studio one sees beautiful ambrotypes, silver prints from wet plate collodion negatives, platinum prints, and photogravures by Paul and the artists he has worked with. The atmosphere of his rehabbed early 1800’s barn / studio makes for a wonderful working environment. In addition to conveying precious insights gained over twenty-five years of working with photogravure, Paul provided a lot of information about outfitting a studio. His list of suppliers, comprehensive workshop handouts, and post workshop assistance has made the set up of my studio very easy. The digital film method that Paul developed and taught has totally transformed my studio practice. This method can be used for any contact photography process. It is not difficult to learn. Paul supplied a math calculator created at his studio to simplify the process. The film itself is beautiful. This method of making digital film has completely transformed my work with palladium and platinum printing. I could not be happier with the results. I learned much more than anticipated and have renewed vigor for my work after my week at Paul’s studio.