Photogravure COLLABORATIve workshop with zopilote INC.

Zopilote Inc. was founded by Miguel Ángel Álvarez and Mike Gómez. Their facilities are located in Colonia Santa María la Ribera in Mexico City. At Zopilote, their studio is set up with the ability to produce prints in large formats. They work with plates anywhere between 8x10” and 7’x3’ (yes, seven foot) plates!

“The photogravure process has a long history, starting with manual printing techniques and aquatint printing. The roots of the photogravure process can be traced back to William Henry Fox Talbot (1852), who used a “screen” of black crepe for the mechanical translation of tone values on a steel plate coated with a light-sensitive layer of dichromated gelatin. This was the starting point for both the photogravure (the use of dichromated gelatin) and halftone processes (the use of a screen). In Talbot’s 1852 method, the steel plate was etched with a solution of platinum chloride to form a printing plate. Talbot changed the process in 1858 by depositing a resinous powder on the surface of the exposed, sensitized, gelatin-coated copper plate. When heated, the resin microparticles bonded to the gelatin layer and facilitated the formation of a delicate grain pattern after etching with a solution of ferric chloride. Talbot also introduced consecutive etchings of copper plates using solutions of different concentrations of ferric chloride to improve the tonal scale of the printed images. […]”

Fragment from “The Atlas of Analytical Signatures of Photographic Processes”, Photogravure by Dusan C. Stulik and Art Kaplan, The Getty Conservation Institute, 2013. To read more visit: The Atlas of Analytical Signatures of Photographic Processes , Photogravure.


Day One August 3rd

  • Introductions, tour of studio space

  • Brief history of the heliogravure process

  • Digital work

  • Preparation of the copper plate

Day Two August 4th

  • Sensitization and developing of the carbon tissue

  • Aquatint

  • Etching of the first copper plates

Day Three August 5th

  • Etching

  • Test prints

  • Final prints

*In this workshop, participants will work with 8x10” plates

The facilities

Printing press n°1
122cm x 300 cm

Printing press n°2
70cm x 140cm

UV Exposure Unit
122cm x 2.40 cm

Acuatint Box
122cm x 300cm

Acid Room
4 trays 85cm x110cm
4 trays 122cm x 240cm


Mexico City is one of the most enjoyable destinations. Its historic center, better known as Zocalo, is declared World Heritage by UNESCO and is the heart of a living culture that exudes everything accumulated since the founding of Tenochtitlan. Visit its neighborhoods flooded with art nouveau and art deco, enjoy its cuisine, lose yourself in the streets and uncover the rich history of this city in world renowned museums .

what’s included

  • Molly Rapp, Penumbra Foundation’s workshop coordinator will accompany the group during this collaboration with Zopilote Studio

  • Accommodations at City Express Buenavista (3 nights)*

  • Photogravure Workshop

  • Welcome dinner (Friday night) at Loveli Restaurant

  • Farewell dinner (Sunday night) at Zefiro Restaurant

Airfare ticket and transportation from and to the Airports are not included. Extra dates at the hotel should be arranged separately.

Recommended attractions

  • Zocalo Main Square

  • Alameda Central

  • Palacio de Bellas Artes

  • Palacio Postal

  • Kiosko Morisco

  • Centro de la Imagen


Zopilote Inc


City Express Buenavista

Photogravure in Mexico City - August 3-5, 2019