Finally, after 30+ years… (Art related, not Gulch related.)

Posted by davidkachel 4 years, 9 months ago to Culture
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Just 'cause some of you know what I do and might be able to successfully feign interest:
About 32 or 33 years ago I handled some of Edward S. Curtis' original photogravures on Japanese tissue paper (the really rare prints). I always loved photogravures but that cinched it for me. I have wanted to make them ever since but the process has always been so absurdly expensive, and limited in size too, such that, it didn't really jibe with my work at the time. The biggest part though was the expense. The copper plates and the carbon tissue, not to mention the family-car-priced etching presses put it way outside the realm of possibility.

Technology has changed and grown far, far cheaper, and there is now a single source on the planet of good, though smaller, etching presses out of Brazil. (There is another source of cheap presses in Europe, but they are junk.)

Short story (if that is still possible), yesterday I made my first fledgling photogravure. It entered the world on very wobbly legs, is genuinely ugly and will soon be snatched up by a passing leopard, but I did it. Many more to come I hope.

Here's the weird part. I can't show it to you! Digital reproduction cannot remotely show the depth and beauty of even a poor photogravure, let alone a good one. It would be like trying to hear a perfect symphony with a tin can and a string… not the remotest chance!

So, I'll put up a .jpg of the more or less raw image in mid-preparation to be printed via inkjet and you can wonder/imagine/imagine for yourself.

I have a whole series of these (more than 50 after culling) shot 30+ years ago in Peru that have never been printed because the negatives were so badly damaged they were unprintable. (Photoshop and an entire month of twelve hour days of damage repair, has saved them at last.) Khalling is the only person on Earth besides me who has ever seen them, and she has only seen about half of them. (You can torture your friends only so much before they beg you to stop.)

This series of images is perfect for the gravure process. I can't wait.

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