"Sediment & Flow"
My approach to photopolymer has been one of experimentation with any and everything other than reproducing a "photographic" image. After having completed several large contract jobs doing just that, it was the last thing I wanted to do for myself. I enjoyed the process, but I didn't have any particular type of imagery to create, so I decided to just play and see what I could get the plates to do. In the "Sediment & Flow" Series, I think I was inspired by some of the findings of some recent missions to Mars by NASA rovers, I believe they were finding evidence of liquid water by how sediment had been left behind that indicated that it had been once carried along by a flowing current. So, for these I tinkered with powdered toner, water, and alcohol, as well as by bending the plates into compound surfaces and allowed physics to do its thing. Unlike in the definition of photopolymer gravure below, I did not need to use a transparency, as I allowed the water/alcohol/toner mix to etch and dry into the plate before exposing it to light.
What Are Photopolymer Gravures?
"The process involves a series of exposures of the polymer plate. First, it is exposed under strong light with a random dot screen placed on top of it (called an aquatint screen in fine art printing or a stochastic screen in commercial printing). Next, the plate is exposed to a positive transparency of an image. This transparency can be a continuous tone positive on film, but is most often made as a digital 'positive' (made in the same way as a digital negative) printed with an inkjet printer. The plate is then developed; for most types and brands of plates, this is done in water. After proper drying and curing, the plate can be inked and printed. The dual exposures produce an "etched" polymer plate with many thousands of indentations of varying depth which hold ink, which in turn are transferred as a continuous tone image to a sheet of paper." ("Photogravure", Wikipedia)