David Morrish · DeadCat Press
Early Gravures



Photogravure · 17.8 × 21.6cm · 1995

I set out to learn the photogravure process in 1994 with my partner, Marlene. We were told that it would take us seven years to really understand and control this complicated photo/intaglio process. Sure enough, over the next six or seven years, we had finally managed to feel comfortable and competent. Now, we both use this process almost exclusively for the production of our art.

This gravure was one of my earlier successes. It is made from a 4×5″ negative, so much of the detail is retained. It is printed on Lana Gravure Etching paper using a warm black ink for the coyote and background band and a cool black ink for the black fabric strips on top and bottom.


Photogravure on 300 gm Lana Gravure paper · 15.8 × 20.4cm · 1995 · Edition of 6

The images in this section were made as early as 1995. They tended to explore some of the same issues I was dealing with as a still-life photographer (see Extended Moments, Panoramas From Spain, or Gum Bichromates). I was also interested in making photogravure prints which tested the qualities of this new (for me) medium. I experimented with one of my earlier ideas where I re-worked the plate to produce prints which were less photographic or literal. Looking back, it is clear to me that the most important discovery for me is that the straight photogravure print is a new object, very different from a photographic print on photographic paper. This is one of the main qualities which continues to attract me to this process.

The pig's head is mummified, as are many of my subjects in this body of work. This early photogravure image was made using an asphaltum aquatint, so the detail is very fine. This plate has been "destroyed" in order to create "Swine II", a heavily re-worked image of the same subject.

Swine II

Photogravure on 300 gm Lana Gravure paper · 15.8 × 20.4cm · 1996 · Edition of 6

In order to create "Swine II" from the same plate used to print "Swine", the plate was heavily re-worked. I used an angle grinder, sandpaper and scrapers thereby adding another layer of destruction to the image. This prototype reperesents the direction I was planning to take my gravure work at one time.


Photogravure · 13.4 × 19.9cm · 1995 · Edition of 10

One March morning in 1995 in the hotel garden, I made this 35mm negative while attending a Symposium on Photogravure at GraphicStudio in Tampa, Florida. For the print I used a greenish ink and printed on 300 gm Hannemühl German Etching paper for its creamy base color.

Heron Trader

Photogravure on 250 gm Lana Gravure paper · 23 × 25.5cm · 1998 · Edition of 13

This photogravure is of the derelict ship, Heron Trader, grounded in the 1950's or 60's on the NE coast of Newfoundland near Fredrickton. It was photographed one night in June of 1991 by using my car headlights to light the hull.