I’m requesting your assistance today. I recently purchased a large batch of printing forms for an ad comic strip called Cherry. While I can (barely) make out the strip on these intaglio cardboard plates (see above), it would be nice to get this collection into some more readable form.
Now my very shaky understanding of the printing process tells me that these little cardboard forms would probably be filled with a thin covering of molten lead. The image would transfer to the lead and then that hardened lead would be used as the printing plate. Have I got that right? If so, I may be stuck already since the idea of working with molten metal is a bit worrisome.
I tried scanning one of these and playing around with contrast etc. and I can get them a bit more readable, but still a long way from crisp linework.
So, can anyone provide suggestions for turning these little cardboard doohickeys into legible black-and-white strips?