Workshops Archive

Experimental Photo-based Printmaking Intensive

Nancy DiessnerEsther S. WhiteLiz Chalfin
August 1 – 20, 2018, 9-4 daily with open studio hours until 9 PM
Before May 1st: $2600 non-members, $2350 members
After May 1st: $2850 non-members, $2600 members
$1000 deposit to reserve space.
registration fee includes all materials (plates, paper, ink, etc.) a portable exposure unit and extensive binder of handouts.

This workshop is full.  Call to put your name on the waiting list.

Go beyond conventional photographic imagery in this intensive workshop that explores the intersection of photography and non-acid printmaking. We will begin with the most photographically faithful printmaking process—photopolymer intaglio—and then set out on an adventure of increasingly more experimental, and less predictable, printmaking as we explore the creative possibilities of photo-collagraph and photographic silk aquatint. Each technique has distinct qualities, which transform an original digital image into fascinating iterations. 

Students will be instructed in all aspects of photopolymer intaglio, including how to prepare digital files, create film positives, make plates and build a simple exposure unit for personal use.  After mastering the techniques for creating beautiful tonal photo-intaglio plates and prints, we’ll begin to alter and modify plates and film, and play with exposure, to generate experimental images.

After a week of photopolymer intaglio, we’ll move into the even more experimental photo-based processes of photo-collagraph and photographic silk aquatint.  Employing screen printing emulsions and techniques, these processes generate plastic plates with photographic imagery in varying degrees of fidelity.  The plates can be altered and modified to bring in more painterly and experimental approaches to the photographic image.

Once we’ve made a variety of plates, we’ll embark on creative inking and printing strategies.  There will be instruction in using both oil and water-based inks, different types of papers, multiple-plate printing in black and in color, registration techniques, and in curating and drying prints. 

Workshop participants will come away with a portfolio of prints and a solid foundation in non-acid photo etching and the knowledge of how to continue to work in these methods on their own or to teach them to others.  

Workshops participants will receive a comprehensive handbook of technical notes and a portable exposure unit to take home with them.

Participants will be asked to bring a laptop with Photoshop or Photoshop Elements installed.

This intensive workshop is limited to 8 participants.

DAY 1   Introductions, presentations, film positives in Photoshop
DAY 2   Printing positives, building an exposure unit
DAY 3   Photopolymer plate making and printing
DAY 4   Work Day
DAY 5   Funky photopolymer       
DAY 6   Day off 
DAY 7   Funky photopolymer
DAY 8   Printing strategies for photopolymer plates
DAY 9   
Photoshop and paper positives for collagraph and silk aquatint
DAY 10  Photographic Collagraph plate making 
DAY 11  Plate Making and Printing Collagraphs
DAY 12  Work Day
DAY 13  Day off
DAY 14  Photo Silk Aquatint plate making and printing
DAY 15  Positive Play – new plates
DAY 16  Modifying plates
DAY 17  Ink Lab – oil and water based inks 
DAY 18  Work day
DAY 19  Curating and Drying Prints
Day 20  Culmination


From the instructors:

“I’m madly in love with the intersection of printmaking and photography. There are so many possibilities when the processes and technologies of those two worlds come together and raise compelling, creative questions about reality, space, imagination, and how we can extend the fascinating dialog between the technological and the handmade.” – Nancy Diessner

“I get excited about using materials in unexpected (and sometimes unorthodox) ways. I started working in photo-collagraph and photographic silk aquatint methods because I wanted to make expressive prints from relatively low-resolution sources. My work has always involved an element of chance and drawn energy from the tension between accident and response. With these experimental photographic processes, there are many points at which a simple intervention or change will affect the final print. At the same time, they are fast and cheap! This suits me because I want to feel free to take risks while I work on an image. I can’t wait to see the work that happens during the intensive program this summer – I want to know what
other people will do with these methods.” – Esther S. White

“The photo-based processes I use in my own work rely on the magic of what happens in the space between taking a photograph and printing an image – the possibilities for manipulation and creative intervention are endless.  I’m very excited to introduce this new workshop where we will get to go deep into this creative realm.” – Liz Chalfin