The Art of the Photogravure
A Comprehensive Resource Dedicated to the Photogravure
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Preparing the Plate
Preparing the Image
Transferring the Image to the Plate
Etching the Plate
Printing the Gravure
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The Photogravure Process
Etching the Plate

Inspecting the plate during the etch

The Ferric Chloride being rinsed off the plate
NEXT THE PLATE IS placed in a succession of etching baths. Etching begins in sequence in proportion to the thickness of the gelatin coating and the viscosity of the mordant (Ferric Chloride) bath. The viscosity of the Ferric Chloride controls the speed with which the solution penetrates the gelatin. The result is a plate with many minute reservoirs or cells of varying depths. During printing, the deeper cells hold more ink and thus transfer more ink to the paper, creating the darker areas of the image.

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