Early in my learning of intaglio techniques, I was eager to practice polychrome register printing with two or three plates. This technique allows to superimpose the prints of several plates, to juxtapose or layer colours.

I knew it was possible, and the only contemporary exemple I knew was the works of Mario Avati, where a first print gives colour to a second black mezzotint print, that constitutes the essential of the design. I had the chance to see a few of his works in an exhibit, but it said nothing on how to make the two prints layer without gap. In other words, I didn't knew how to get a precise register. I had read about the existence of a process named "aux trous d'aiguille" (pin holes) used centuries ago to register several plates in one print, but I knew nothing more than the name. I imagined a system inspired from this name, and created several etchings with it, Banc publicEmpress Hotel and La chasse-galerie, in 1981.

This process had problems, and I worked on the elaboration of another process, based on my experience, and not on pin holes. I worked on it for years, doing many experiments with the traditional etching supplies: copper, varnish, rosins, papers, inks. This research was an axis that oriented my work, I even made a trip to one of the largest print collection, the Cabinet des estampes of Bibliothèque nationale, Paris, to make research in their inventory to try to find if what I was doing was an invention or the rediscovery of an old process, without success. I finally tuned my process, settled now since fifteen years.

In 1994, a galerist who offered my works in Montreal suggested me to present my candidacy to become a member of the CQE, the Conseil québécois de l'estampe, gone now. I prepared and send them an application, with samples of my work, and a detailed example of the registred polychrome etching La rentrée. My candidacy was accepted.

The detailed example:

  • Initial drawing - Dessin initial.
  • Plate 3, state 2 - Plaque 3, état 2.
  • Plate 1, state 1 - Plaque 1, état 1
  • Study - Étude
  • Plan for plate 2 - Plan pour la plaque 2
  • Study - Étude
  • Plate 3, state 3 - Plaque 3, état 3.
  • Print completed - Gravure terminée