Piezography B&W Digital Printing Workshop Syllabus

Revision 2019

This course will take you from basics to mind blowing in four days. Absolutely everything you ever wanted to know about Piezography and quite a bit more. Learn directly at the Studio that invented Piezography from the instructors who continually design and update it!

Day 1: Necessary Knowledge

A little knowledge goes a long way. A lot of knowledge goes further. The right knowledge is essential to a good start as well as advanced image development. This day is devoted to making sure you step on the correct path.

  1. Introductions

  2. Overview of the

  3. Piezography process

  4. Driver/Curve installs

  5. Visual examples of all major Piezography Inks

  6. Intro to QuadTone RIP and QTR Print Tool

  7. Piezography Curves (Pro

  8. and K7)

  9. Setting up Photoshop

  10. Setting up Lightroom

  11. Setting up QuadTone RIP

  12. Quick print demo with Pro Blending

  13. Lunch Break

  14. Intro to Paper Options

  15. Free print time 

Piezography® has evolved from a system invented by Jon Cone at Cone Editions Press in 1994 that operated on $123,000 IRIS inkjet printers. Piezography for Epson printers was first released in 1999 as a beta and in 2000 as a commercial release.

Since then, Piezography has introduced many important innovations such as using 100% pigment ink for Epson printers prior to Epson itself; proprietary monochromatic ink ICC profiles for the Epson printer driver; acrylic co-polymer encapsulated pigment inks. Proprietary gamma 2.20 output media profiles for the QuadTone RIP printer driver. Perfected digital negatives. Split toning ink sets. The list goes on...

In the space of a small media file called a “curve” in QuadTone RIP, is the innovation of Piezography software. The Piezography profiler produces media profiles which turn QuadTone RIP into a turnkey operation. These Piezography curves are produced on a proprietary software which we began writing about 2002. They enable QTR to force the Piezography ink laden Epson printer to produce much higher resolution than the printer was capable of. It produces extremely smooth output that imitates a modified Gamma 2.20 contrast and it separates highlights and shadows like nobody’s business.

This is the day where you learn how to prepare your printer, how to install the software and inks, and how to operate the system to get the best possible output.

Day 2: Necessary Practice

I know I can fly! Just a little reminder here and there - but it’s time for less talking and more rocking. Today it’s time to begin printing with the systems on your own.

  1. Piezo Ink installation

  2. Supported Printers

  3. Debugging a Printer

  4. Preventative Maintenance

  5. Printer Rescue

  6. Other Hardware Topics

  7. Lunch Break

  8. The Linear vs ICC workflow

  9. Softproofing & Studio Setup

  10. Free print time (1 or 2 hrs)

  11. Introduction to Piezography Professional Edition Toolset

  12. 1-1 Linearizations

  13. Free print time

Today the workflow begins in detail starting with the nuts-and-bolts of installing Piezography inks into a printer and all the hardware & maintenance considerations that go along with that. 

At Cone Editions Press we’ve been able to maintain our printers for nearly a decade on their original heads by doing preventative maintenance on our printers. We’ll share the secrets that we’ve learned.

After lunch we go into the studio and learn about printing Linear, Softproofing, and printing with ICCs.

We also learn about monitor calibrations, contrast, viewing lights, and lighting a studio correctly for your monitor.

Then the big bazookas come out and we introduce the Piezography Professional Edition Toolset (something everyone in the room has access to as a workshop attendee).

The PPE toolset enables perfect calibration of the Piezography print on any paper. We demo the process and then each person will have at least one chance to actually complete a new Linearization on their own over the next two days!

The rest of the day is spent printing and using all the knowledge absorbed from the first and second days.  This is the day where you learn how to prepare your printer, how to install the inks, and how to operate the system to get the best possible output.

Day 3: Dig a Little Deeper

Now take what you’ve learned and go forth and make prints!  

  1. Free Print Time

  2. Brief intro to Piezography Digital Negative (no wet process in this workshop)

  3. Continual 1-1 Linearizations

  4. Understanding resolution and scaling

  5. Image sharpening

  6. Levels and Curves re-cap

  7. Printing absolute Black

  8. History brushing as a form of perpetual madness

  9. Using Layers insanely

  10. Lunch Break

  11. Show & Tell

  12. Free Print Time

 Today we will dig a little deeper into how we prepare image files for fine printing. The techniques are deceptively simple and all are designed to leave little to no trace of your stylus or mouse steps. The adage of ‘bring out everything you bring in with you’ applies here. Leave no trace behind. Piezography is unforgiving and merciless to those with poor imaging habits. With its ability to resolve more detail than the Epson driver means that poor sharpening or poor masking will be revealed in the final print. Today is all about finesse.

Additionally, we will demonstrate how to squeeze the absolute best out of ordinary images.

This is the day when the print queues become subjects of efficiency and preference. Everyone busily printing and waiting their turns - so please be ready when your slot in the queue is at hand for a particular printer. It should all be as easy as thinking by this point.

Dana Ceccarelli will demonstrate printer preventative maintenance so you can learn to keep your tools in tip top shape.

Later in the day we will look at prints produced over the years at Cone Editions Press to deepen the professional understanding of what mastered Piezography printing looks like. We will also introduce you to paper size considerations.

Day 4: Workflow & Wrap-up

From Layout to Finish: on this day we finalize a custom tailored workflow for your specific studio needs and art practice. Leave with a "prescription" of items you need to get set up in your home environment.

  1. Wide Format Printing

  2. Teaching Piezography

  3. Print Handling & Packing

  4. Retouching

  5. Longevity and fade testing

  6. Break for Lunch

  7. Group print-show and talk

  8. Questionnaire & Wrap-up

Today is all about professional printing, paper handling, longevity considerations and more.

We talk about how Piezography works in the classroom, how it works in professional print studios, home studios, and we also have time to work on some larger paper sizes.

Later in the day we’ll do retouching and pack/ship demos. By the end of the day everyone’s bellies and brains will be full and they’ll have nicely packed prints from their week of production!

LOCATION AND HOURS: The studio is located at 17 Powder Spring Road, Topsham, Vermont 05076. It is registered with Google Maps and you can trust Google directions to our studio. The studio is open to students, and instruction is provided from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Your instructor sets time for demonstrations, lunch, critiques and clean up. On Wednesday we try to have a paella party in the Summer when weather permits. In the Fall we try to do something similar. But, we do keep the studio open later on Wednesdays. We also encourage sharing your work on Wednesday early evening. So plan for staying a bit later on Wednesday to share, eat, or get a bit more printing done!

TRAVEL: Our nearest airport (75 minutes) is Burlington International Airport (BTV) in Burlington, VT. Other airports are Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT) (130 minutes) and Boston-Logan (180 minutes). There are car rentals as well as private taxis and shuttles between the airport in Burlington, VT and East Topsham. 

LODGING: The amount of lodging near us is very limited. You must make reservations early if you want to be within walking distance of our studio. There is a small B&B with friendly owners and excellent breakfast and 5 minute walk: http://www.vermontbackintime.info/

FOOD: We provide a tasty and healthy lunch each day according to the questionnaire you are asked to fill out prior to your arrival. Coffee, espresso, and tea are all very important to us and is always available fresh. We have a refrigerator in case you need to bring things you would rather not be without.

For dinner, Vermont is known for its interesting and varied cuisine. Some of our favorites are close and others are not so close. 

Computers and Displays: Cone Editions Press does not provide computer workstations. You must arrive with your own laptop computer. We do provide reference calibrator displays. These displays use DVI or HDMI inputs. Please contact us prior to the workshop so that we can advise you of any adapter you may need to connect your laptop to our displays. The use of our calibrated displays are not mandatory - but they will allow you to see what you can print - and you will want one when you return home! These are not your average displays!

Materials: All materials used in the workshop are included within the workshop fees. We offer the following papers: JonCone Studio Type 2 and Type 5, Canson Photographique, Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, Hahnemuhle Museum Etching. Epson Exhibition Fiber. All Piezography ink sets are available during the workshop.

Printers: During the workshop attendees have access to five Epson 3880 printers as well as 7880, 9800, 4900 and 9900 large format printers are present but not available for workshop use. Still we may use these printers from time to time to demonstrate preventative maintenance and installation demos or to answer printer specific questions.

Fees: $1500. A non-refundable reservation payment of $450 is required when you sign up for a workshop on the InkjetMall website. The balance of the workshop must be paid for in full 30 days in advance of the workshop or you lose your reservation payment.

Cancellation Policy: We have both a very generous and a very strict cancellation policy because the workshops are small and your cancelling adversely affects our program. All workshops must be fully paid 30 days in advance. We collect a deposit payment of $450 in advance. Should you decide to cancel your participation in advance of paying your balance and we can replace you with another attendee - we will refund your deposit minus a $100 cancellation fee. If you must cancel within 30 days after paying your full fee & we can replace you with another attendee, we will cheerfully refund 100% your monies minus a $100 cancellation fee. If we can not replace you - you will forfeit 100% of the fees that you have paid. Please be sure before you sign up. If you must cancel - do not wait until the last day. The sooner you alert us - the better chance someone on the waiting list can replace you.

Contact: Cathy Cone is the Workshop Coordinator. Please call (802) 439-5751 #101 or email [email protected]