Photogravure is a printmaking technique that requires a hell of a lot of prep, but the ghostly effect of the finished work is awesome: it's like part etching and a bit charcoal drawing, with the spirit of an old timey black-and-white.

German photographer Antje Hanebeck and artist Fanny Boucher of studio Atelier Hélio'g in France used the centuries-old process to capture the I. M. Pei-designed Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar—which itself is a newbie, celebrating only its fifth anniversary this year—for Radiant, a new on-site exhibition.

The amount of work that goes into every piece is pretty incredible, and truly hands-on in a way that's all but disappeared in the digital age.


Each image is transferred to a copper plate that's then dusted and engraved, gently cleaned, inked, and pressed. There's fire, water, developing baths, old rags, brushes, and a hand-cranked machine that's bigger than Boucher herself.

Once finished, they were handled with white gloves for presentation in a pristinely clean portfolio box designed by Olivier Andreotti.

It's loooong at nine minutes (that's what, like, 90 vines?), but this is a great vid showing how Boucher did it.

Makes me want to get my hands dirty and make something. [Museum of Islamic Art]