Notes on the Process

An exquisite form of image making, the hand-pulled photogravure has justly been called the "aristocrat of the photographic processes." It is a method so fine�and so dependent upon the lifelong skill of the committed artisan�that it constantly teeters on the edge of extinction in the modern world. Photogravures are created by pressing a hand-inked copper plate etched from a film positive onto fine artist�s paper. The continuous-tone image is obtained from the recessed areas on the plate that are etched to varying depths, each retaining different quantities of ink. These stunning prints exhibit a luxurious range of tones, from luminous whites to rich blacks, that brings both visual and tactile textures to life. Universally acknowledged masters such as Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Alvin Langdon Coburn, and Paul Strand all considered photogravure to be among the most sensitive means of aesthetic expression. 
The Tritone Plate
Lush and richly saturated with fine quality inks applied in exacting proportions, the tritone is a mechanically printed image that captures all the detail and ambiance of the original photograph. A standard halftone image is created by imprinting ink on paper in one pass through the press. A duotone image is achieved by sending the page through the press twice, usually with two slightly different color inks applied on each pass. In the case of the tritone image the page receives yet a third impression, adding a uniquely dynamic sense of coloration and depth to the final black and white image. Painstaking and precise, the tritone plate captures the beauty and presence of the original as no other mechanical processes can. 
Fine Bookbinding
Among connoisseurs who really appreciate quality and workmanship, there are few things more sensual and engrossing than a finely crafted book. Strong yet supple bindings, custom endpapers, hand-worked covers, even the fragrance�so many tangible sensibilities of artisanship define the physical, intimate characteristics of each singular volume. There is a clearly perceptible difference between a mass produced and a finely crafted book, one that is often lost in today�s world of disposable literature and digital downloads. When once again we hold this fine object of passion and skill, feel its heft, smell its unique blend of leather and rich inks, all the reasons why they are so precious return immediately to mind. 
The Platinum Print

Cy DeCosse developing a
hand-coated platinum print.

The hand-coated platinum print is esteemed as one of the most sumptuous and expressive forms of photographic imaging. Because it can provide the most expanded tonal scale of all graphic arts, the platinum print radiates a gentle warmth, detail even in the richest shadows, delicate whites, and an almost three-dimensional image depth. Unlike ordinary photographs, prints in platinum metals are extraordinarily stable and archival. Since they require considerably more effort and much more expensive materials, platinum images tend to be rare and unique. They stand today as one of the most ethereal and graceful forms of photographic expression � like fine gravure, a preferred medium of the masters.

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