Direct-to-Plate Photopolymer Gravure in Brooklyn, NY

Workshop with Don Messec

Direct to Plate in Brooklyn, NY

November 7-11, 2016

Susan Rostow of Akua Inks will be assisting during the workshop.

Imagine getting great photopolymer plate results of gravure quality without the need for a vacuum frame, a transparency, even an exposure unit.  Direct-to-Plate (dtp) is a true game changer that can save you time, studio space and equipment.  With any one of many ink jet printers you will be able to print your image directly to the emulsion for exposure in the sun to great effect.  You can make soulful gravure prints, or let dtp open a whole world of hand and development interferences that can take your work new places; building on what you have done then allowing the process to re-interpret instead of replicate.

This printmaking approach builds on single exposure platemaking and frees your platemaking in whole new ways.  No pre-screening of your plates.  The screen is built into inkjet output which is printed directly on the plate then exposed.  Using either ImagOn or Solarplate you will spend far more time making exhibition prints and less time platemaking.

With the development of single exposure for high quality plates, plate exposure is far more repeatable and reliable.  Even in the sun.  Whether you shoot photographs, draw and paint, appropriate images, whatever your process of image building all you need to accomplish is getting your images into digital form so you can print your matrix directly to your plate.

MakingArtSafely is Don Messec’s latest effort to bring new thinking, technology and materials to artists who do not want literally to “die for their art.” Don’s MFA is from UIUC and he began his printmaking experience at Bob Blackburn’s Printmaking Workshop in NYC in the 1980s. Sounds so long ago. Don Messec is also the founding director of the Printmaking Center for Safe and Non-toxic Printmaking, until its close, a world leading academic studio unit in the development cultivation and education in low-toxic printmaking for artists and art instructors.

For a short history and explanation of photopolymer gravure plus additional examples please visit here.

How to Register for Brooklyn Studio Workshops


Brooklyn Studio is independent of MakingArtSafely however MAS and Brooklyn Studio have made it easy to register by simply using the Add to Cart button on this page as if you were registering with MakingArtSafely. See you in NY!
More info on Brooklyn Studio

What’s Included

Plates sizes for the workshop are 4x5” through 8x10″. Your fees include enough Solarplates to learn the process with 4x5″ and 6x8,” typically 5-6 of these plates. The studio includes printing presses, digital printers, printing inks and etching paper, a few computers for class use along with all the other common tools materials for making photopolymer plates and prints.

What to Bring

  • Source materials such as digitized drawings and digital photographs in any of the following formats – PSD, jpg, TIFF, RAW. It is important that you bring original unaltered files at in addition to the processed or manipulated versions. It can be than useful to go back to an unmodified file to re-interpret the image once you have a print in hand.
  • Digital camera if you have one. Of course you will take pictures and video! Yes, you can bring film, too. There is still a good lab in Santa Fe for developing and scanning. But don’t depend on miracle turn arounds.
  • Jump drive (thumb drive or other portable read/write media)
  • Laptop if you have one. Especially if it has Photoshop and/or Lightroom. If you do not have any of this software please download a trial version for the workshop. This is more important in Canada and EU as the host studios rarely have digital equipment for you to use. We have some, but not enough to cover everyone’s needs.
  • Large enough luggage and/or box to pack prints, with stiff protector (cardboard or matt board). Paper will be torn down to approximately 11x15”
  • Note that your General Studio Fee is partially a materials fee but also supports an extensive array of relevant communal shop needs, costs and consumables.

That’s it! Any questions about supplies, please feel free to contact us.

Workshop Itinerary

  • Monday morning begins with students arriving at Brooklyn studio between 9:30-10 AM.
  • Daily instruction is 10 AM to 4 PM with the studio open to students between 9:30 AM and 7 PM. Exception is Friday when the workshop ends at 4 PM.
  • Bring a lunch everyday except Tuesday when we go out Dutch for a late lunch.
  • Thursday night would like to get dinner as a group. You can bring companions.