| Canvas Gallery Wrap Giclees: How they are made?
Giclee (pronounced Gee-clay) is
a fine-art printing process that uses digital images and high-end
printers, inks, paper and canvas material. The word literally means
“to spray” referring to the way the printer sprays the
ink onto the canvas. Giclee is a relatively new process that has been
increasing in popularity among artists and photographers over the
last five years.
Giclee is a digital printing process,
it begins with a digital file, either from a camera, a scanned work,
or a digital illustration. Giclee printers are professional
quality and large format ink-jet printers. The spraying action of the printer
means that there are no visible dots in the finished image, producing
a virtually continuous tone and crisp detail.
Giclee printers use pigment based inks,
which are archival and fade-resistant by definition. The inks allow
for a wide range or gamut of colour. Giclee printers are able to print on a
verity of materials or substrates. These
include a verity of fine art and photo papers, vinyl and transparent
film. For the purpose of this article we will be discussing giclee
printing on canvas. Printing on canvas
is unique in terms of texture and durability. It is also the only
type of material that can be stretched and mounted like traditional
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When preparing the digital image for stretching, The printer must allow for the canvas
that will be wrapped around the stretcher frame. This extra canvas
can be anywhere from one to two inches on each side of the image. One
way of creating this edge is increasing the size of the image to
allow extra for the edge. This works on many images, but it crops the
image a little and thus is not suitable for some images. It is best
avoided if your finished gallery wrap is smaller than 20 inches on a
side, or if the image had important subjects close to the edge of the
picture. Another option is creating boarder on the digital file that
will be wrapped to the side of the gallery wrap. There are many
options for the look of this boarder, which is often called the 'side
bars' of the gallery wrap. read more...
After the image is printed, it must be
coated to provide extra protection from sun, water damage, and
cracking. The printer will spray this coating evenly on the canvas
and allow it to dry. The coating is transparent and water-based. It
does not affect the colours of the print, and it will not prevent the
artist from over-painting or signing the canvas later.
The next step is stretching the canvas.
Fist, the framer builds a frame to fit the dimensions of the printed
image. This frame is made of wooden stretcher bars, which have been
shaped to support the canvas. The wood is cut at a 45 degree angle
and joined at the corners. Cross-bracing is used for large frames to
The canvas print is then placed face
down, and the frame is placed face down on top. The framer then
clamps the edges of the canvas with canvas-stretching pliers, and
folds it to the back of the frame, stapling it in place. The framer
repeats this action on all sides of the frame, pulling the canvas
taught. The framer uses a staple about every quarter inch to
distribute the tension. The corners are dealt with last, and are
folded using a special technique that leaves no visible flaps on the
In order to finish the canvas, the
framer or framer's assistant covers the staples with cloth framing
tape, applies bumpers and hanging hardware. The bumpers are small
squares or circles of soft material that protect the wall from
scratches and make the canvas hang evenly. The hanging hardware can
be either picture wire or saw-toothed hangers. Your gallery wrap is not ready to hang!
| Giclee & Art Reproduction
When reproducing a piece of fine art from a canvas or paper original, there are a couple more steps that come before the printing process.
First the work must be scanned. The
quality of the scanner is very important in insuring a good
reproduction, just as the quality of a camera is important for
photograph. It is possible to use either a flatbed or a drum scanner,
but only a flatbed scanner can accommodate a stretched canvas or a
work on non-flexible material. Scanners are able to record digital
images at a verity of dpi, which is similar to the resolution
settings on a digital camera. 300 Dpi is the resolution needed to
print. read more...
In order to make sure the finished
piece looks as much like the original as possible, the print must be
colour-matched to the original. In order to do this, the printer
prints small sections of the scan and compares it to the work of art.
This step is necessary, because no matter how accurate the the
scanner and printer are, there is always some difference between the
original and the print that will need to be corrected for. Sometimes
it will take several round of printing test strips before the image
will be exactly right. Each time the image is printed on a different
printer, or a different paper, it must be colour-matched again.
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