Copper Plate Photogravure

Chrysta Active Workshop, Alternative & Darkroom Active, Alternative Process & Darkroom, One-of-a-Kind, One-of-a-Kind Active, Workshops

June 25 – 27, 2021

Learn traditional Copper Plate Photogravure, an alternative process printing technique that blends photography and printmaking

with Unai San Martin

“The class was well organized. Unai made very good use of time guiding us through a very detail oriented process. Unai is an excellent teacher and made the whole process exciting and fun.”

— Jacqueline W.


*A note regarding COVID-19 precautions:

In order to offer this workshop, The Image Flow is taking careful precautions to ensure the safety of our students. Both students and instructor will be wearing masks at all times, and distancing will be observed as much as possible. If you have any concerns, please get in touch and we can address them with you directly!


This three-day intensive workshop is designed for photographers and printmakers that wish to learn the copperplate photogravure process. Students will be guided by Gravurist Unai San Martin through all the steps: making digital transparencies, exposing, etching and printing their work.  In this hands-on etching workshop, students will work with traditional copper plate and experiment with the photogravure process. Students will be able to complete up to three 8×10 inch copper plates and use an extensive array of papers and inks, producing limited-edition prints.


Copper Plate © Christy McDonald

Copper Plate © Christy McDonald

Photogravure, an intaglio process developed between 1850 and 1880, was one of the first successful printing techniques used to edition photographic images. Its tonal and archival qualities are so superb, that even after the arrival of more commercially viable processes in the early 20th century, photographers such as Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Curtis, and Paul Strand used it to edition some of their most important works. Fine art presses and book publishers still use the process today.


Digital Positive © Rory Earnshaw

Digital Positive © Rory Earnshaw


Class Schedule

Friday, 10AM–5PM: Introduction. History and real samples done in gravure. Making digital transparencies for gravure. Sensitizing, exposure and development. Etching.

Saturday, 10AM–5PM: More sensitizing, exposure and etching. Proofing the plates.

Sunday, 10AM–5PM: Fine printing. How to mix inks and damp paper. Printing techniques, (Chine Colle, etc..). Critique of prints.


Photogravure © Unai San Martin

Photogravure © Unai San Martin

Workshop presented by The Image Flow Photography Center, providing photography classes, custom printing services, and studio rentals.


Instructor Bio

Unai San Martin has won several prestigious awards for his evocative and subtle photogravures, including the Joan Miro and  Sotheby’s first prize, and the first prize in the National Printmaking Competition in Madrid. His work is in more than 20 museums as well as in collections in Europe and the United States, such as the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the di Rosa Collection. Unai has made gravures and taught workshops on the process both locally and overseas for almost 20 years.

Related Workshops

Friday – Sunday
June 25 – 27, 2021

$750 – sold out

Email us to Sign Up


The Image Flow Photography Center
401 Miller Avenue, Suite A, Mill Valley, CA
Located in Marin County CA, just north of San Francisco.

Who Should Take This Course

Intermediate photographers—ages 18 or older

Pertinent Details

  • Maximum three (3) students
  • Masks are required for Covid-19 safety
  • Some printmaking experience helpful

Course Tuition Includes

  • 3, 8×10 copper plates
  • All chemicals and equipment included
  • $50 materials fee included

Required Materials

  • Bring an apron