All intaglio prints made by Cape Fear Press are copper etchings. We use the photogravure process, photo etching and traditional etching processes to make these prints.
A genuine photogravure is made with a copper plate. This process entails sensitizing gravure pigment paper gelatin, exposing this to to a continuous tone positive in contact, the gelatin is adhered to a aquatinted copper plate, developed and etched in a series of ferric chloride baths. This is a continuous tone photographic etching technique invented at the dawn of photography in the mid 1800s. Cape Fear Press makes their photogravures in this same tradition using dustgrain box aquatints and analog dustgrain screens to create the grain of the plate. The plates are inked by hand with archival etching inks and printed on an etching press. Photogravure is still the most beautiful process for making a photographic intaglio plate.
A photo etching is a process of etching a high contrast image onto a copper plate. This process works very well for high contrast, graphic and linear imagery. The image is often reworked with tools and traditional etching techniques to expand the tonal range. The printing is very much the same as for a gravure.