New adventure: photogravure

I have always been enthusiastic about high-quality, handmade papers. In the past, when handmade paper was still affordable, and later for platinum/paladium printing and carbon transfer.

I gave up silver gelatine printing a few years ago and started working more with Pt/Pd and carbon transfer.
All those years I always wanted to take the last step and try my hand at photo- or heliogravure.

Now the time has come, the adventure begins.
Why not earlier?
2 reasons: on the one hand I was not yet ready with my systematics and on the other hand the prices for etching presses.
A few days ago I got one, used for a reasonable price. Thanks Mirko! The gods are with the patient.
14“ x 40” with a 15.5” roller. Freshly refurbished with new bearings and lots of accessories like etching inks, copper plates, etching ground …

Now the big shopping trip for the missing items begins.
To avoid spending too much money on “must haves” and branded items, I try to find cheaper alternatives or some things are not even on the German market or are difficult to get.
Example printing felt: Either in GB or US, 150 Euro and more for a 3-ply felt. In the next few days 3 felt of different thicknesses, virgin wool, partly woven, should arrive, bought on ebay. 20,- incl. shipping. I will report back.
Example imagesetter: My current imagesetter, consisting of 256 UV LEDs with a wavelength of 385nm, is not ideal. I need 365nm for my goals. I had built the previous exposure unit for carbon transfer and Pt/Pt.
An alternative is a 100W UV LED lamp with 365nm at amazon, around 50,- incl. shipping.
I’m not going to plunge into the adventure of heliogravure straight away, but will first try to make the most of Photopolymere.
Here, too, many things are not or no longer available on the European market. If you search for “pcb” or “photoresist” on the usual platforms, you are more likely to find what you are looking for

The problem is that these films usually come from China, Japan or Taiwan and the sellers have little information about their products.
So I am now looking for photopolymer 40 or 50 microns thick.
I will test these “penny articles” first. If it doesn’t work satisfactorily, I’ll contact the manufacturers directly.

I am still wavering between direct-to-plate and intermediate positive. dtp sounds charming, I save myself the stochastic exposure and can print directly onto the plate to be created, but at the same time I lose the possibility of precise calibration that I am used to with carbon and Pt/Pd.

Printer (Epson 7800 with “Farbenwerk” inks), calibration tool, densitometer, scanner are available. Software as well: Serif Affinity, QTR.
What’s still missing: Tarlatan as a wiping gaze, blotting- and newspaper, some brushes and paintbrushes, palette knife.