Polymer-gravure with photo-etching and block printing

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Polymer-gravure etching is an intaglio technique that uses commercially developed photopolymer plates. A transparent positive is exposed to the plate, which has been pre-coated with a thin layer of light-sensitised polymer. When developed or ‘etched’ with water, a shallow image is produced on the plate with a subtle tonal range.

Photogravure etching is an intaglio process in which a continuous-tone photographic or computer-generated positive is exposed to a light-sensitive gelatine ground, which transferred to a metal (usually copper) plate. The ground acts as an acid-resistant layer. The plate is then submerged in a series of acid baths of varying strengths, which ‘bites’ the exposed metal, leaving an image with a full tonal range.

Block printing is a family of relief techniques including woodcut, wood engraving and linocut. In this case, polymer relief blocks are used to create the cuboid graphic in the centre of the print. Areas of the block are cut away using a laser to create the design. Ink is then applied with a roller and the different colours of ink are blended by hand on each block.