Advice Needed on Technique

MerpsMom

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The other two difficulties I have: both "vacation" art but one cost a pretty bit.

It's a giclee on canvas signed and numbered on the back. I searched for info since it's been awhile that I've done one. Not a whole lot of help. I plan to stretch it on bars, use small spacers, just frame it, and am recommending UV glass. It's wavy and she doesn't like that so I don't think hinging is an option, nor would be stitching. Whaddya think?

Other thingie is vacation watercolor, heavy paper, curled up. Can't I just mist the back, weight it, and drymount it? Or would Yes or Mighty Muck be a better answer?

Thanx!
 

MerpsMom

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Surely someone has an opinion on this? Is it something I said?
 

Handy

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"It's a giclee on canvas signed and numbered on the back. I searched for info since it's been awhile that I've done one. Not a whole lot of help. I plan to stretch it on bars, use small spacers, just frame it, and am recommending UV glass. It's wavy and she doesn't like that so I don't think hinging is an option, nor would be stitching. Whaddya think?"

I'm confused here..... If it's a giclee on canvas why would you put glass on it? And if it's stretched on bars, why would it be hinged??

Sorry, maybe I'm not reading this right...
 

JRB

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First off, personally, I think Giclee's are about the biggest rip offs to hit the art consumer in years. It is a computer print on canvas or paper, that's all. Artists claim all the work that is involved getting the colors right justify the cost. Since the printer, not the artist, is sitting at the computer, who is actually doing the work? Some of these prints are being sold to the consumer for in the thousands.

If they have not been coated, they are extremely susceptible to water. If they have been coated, they are a bitch to stretch. The plastic coating has a different stretching quality than the canvas they are printed on. You end up with ripples and waves.

If you can use bars that you can "Key", that will help a whole lot. If you are going to use a glazing, you must use a spacer of some sort to keep the glass off the print.

Then the question arises in my mind, are the staples used to stretch it, damaging it? I do not have a clue how that one could be answered. Since the print was done on canvas, that would imply that it must be stretched. Who knows the answer?

John
 

Baer Charlton

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Stretch very carefully. And gently. Do not force the stretch, just pull it taunt with your fingers... NO pliers.

As you have established the center masses start paying attention to which side to put to make the ripple disappear. Then stretch and staple those first as you go.

All should be flat, but it won't be a DRUM like an oil could be.

As for the water color.... ASK if this is a piece "of value" or is it just an other "Vacation piece" that will make it's way to Goodwill when they change decor?

If it is the later not the former... Slap it down with Yes! paste and call it good....

If this is the next Hanna Through The Wheat, then work it flat and hinge. It may take time.... advise them of such....
 

MerpsMom

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Thanx for verifying that thinking. I'll stretch very carefully, and still be concerned about the stapes. :( I'm coming around to agreement about giclees myself. In fact, several years ago, the canvas could be a combo of natural and synthetic threads causing rippling as each reacted differently to temp and moisture. How many times do you restretch for a customer??

I'm glazing it because I don't have any idea if it will spot with water and I don't want to find out. She paid too much for it not to make we worried about screwing that part up.

I will Yes the watercolor: it's strictly vacation stuff. Again, thanx for the answers.
 

Donna at MetroAF

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Originally posted by JRB:
First off, personally, I think Giclee's are about the biggest rip offs to hit the art consumer in years. It is a computer print on canvas or paper, that's all. Artists claim all the work that is involved getting the colors right justify the cost. Since the printer, not the artist, is sitting at the computer, who is actually doing the work? Some of these prints are being sold to the consumer for in the thousands. John
Not be be rude, but do you have any idea what a high quality printer is used to print these pieces?

Also, the artists are so involved in making sure the colors come out right; when its printed they proof the pieces.

The giclee is also a bajillion times better than canvas transfers, because you have next to no possibility of the image flaking off the canvas while you are stretching it- making it a bajillion times easier to frame.

I have noticed that a few Grumble folk don't appreciate publishers much, and that's fine. But I work in a frame shop that is also a fine art gallery.

The printing technique is definately better, and in my opinion, worth the money.

It bites my buns to hear people saying this is art and that is not because its not original. Or they think they know how something is done when they don't. I have to educate my clients on a daily basis about why one piece is more expensive than the other. They accept my answer. Not because I am a good liar, I am not- ask my mother- but they accept it one the fact that I have talked with the publisher, and the artists about why I should carry these pieces that are not the original, but still beautiful pieces of art.
My clientele is not high-end either. I work in a mall. During the day I see moms with small children and college kids between classes. The evening brings in blue collar joes. My people, my town. I know them. I know that $695 is even close to too much for some of them. But for high quality come a higher price. Its commerce. It's the way we make money.

My clients want luxury. They want something they will be able to pass on to their kids. They want the new best thing. Giclees are great, to me. You may say what you will, but why would you pass up the opportunity to give your customers one of the most inovative ideas in the printing world? Its bringing them a little closer to owning the real thing. When $20,000 is out of their budget, $1200 doesn't seam so bad.
 

FramingFool

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Oh, puh-leeeze..... the quality of the printer influences the creativity of the art???? Sheesh ......IT'S A MACHINE!! Any putz with a fat wallet could buy one and do the same thing.

JRB, I agree 1000%....

These things are digital images, reproduceable by the gazilions....the whole giclee thing is one of the biggest ripoffs to hit the art world since Kincade .... wanna know what I do with 'em??

I chat with the customer, open their eyes to what they really are, get their written permission, and dry mount 'em.

It was hard enough to swallow lithos ... but giclees??? ... gimme a break.

REVIVE SILKSCREENS/SERIOGRAPHS!!
 

FramingFool

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Oh, puh-leeeze.....

JRB, I agree 1000%....

These things are digital images, reproduceable by the gazilions....the whole giclee thing is one of the biggest ripoffs to hit the art world .... wanna know what I do with 'em??

I chat with the customer, open their eyes to what they really are, get their written permission, and dry mount 'em.

It was hard enough to swallow lithos ... but giclees??? ... gimme a break.

REVIVE SILKSCREENS/SERIOGRAPHS!!
 

FramingFool

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A footnote: one of the things I discuss with my customers is the concept of "the value of art" .... anything has "value" only if you can find someone who is willing to pay the price. That willingness is based on availabilty of the item. Do you really think someone is going to pay an appreciated price on something that was printed in an edition of 50,000???
 

Baer Charlton

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this afternoon I had to make new letter head for my Mother-in-laws new rubber stamped ART business...."BunnyART".

Drew deep into my entire art training and background assembled my tools and began to design an artistic masterpiece....

Then I gicleed about 50 letter head and 50 envelopes and called it done....

And a further note of IMHO, I'd rather stretch a print transfer than a "Giggely" any day.

Printers don't know **** today unless they have spent 1,000 hours babying along a 120 year old Chandler & Price. And if you don't know what that is, then you're not much of a printer.
 

Donna at MetroAF

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Originally posted by FramingFool:
Oh, puh-leeeze..... the quality of the printer influences the creativity of the art???? Sheesh ......IT'S A MACHINE!!
I NEVER once said the printing makes it creative. That is the artist's job.

The printing makes a crisper printed image, closer in color to the original, and a higher quality print that will last longer, and frame easier.

Technology doesn't come cheap. Look at computers and cell phones. When they are freshly released, they cost more than a car! But after time, the price goes down because everything is mainlined.

There is always an initial sticker shock. Give it time and the cost will go down (relative to cost of living).
 

Donna at MetroAF

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And, if the piece is appreciated, who cares how many there are? I own the poster "The Accolade", its about 1 in a zillion. That doesn't make it not art. That doesn't mean I can't frame it. that doesn't mean that no one else could appreciate the time and money I put into the frame.

High edition size does not mean its worthless. Society will determine what is collectable, and what is not.

By the way, if the US has upwards of 294 million people, why is 50,000 too much?
 

Donna at MetroAF

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MY footnote:
I do not disagree that serigraphing, and stone lithography are great ways to print. They are a much more "exlusive" piece of art. I also don't disagree that high edition sizes can be perceived as "not limited". But I am not going to loose a client because they want to purchase a piece they enjoy.
Isn't this business about our customers? Don't they deserve a piece that they will cherish and pass down? If you don't like something, that doesn't mean they won't either. I don't like Redlin, but he's hot as **** here. I won't tell someone not to buy a Les Kouba just because I don't appreciate the work. That's not what I am here for.
 

wpfay

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Donna, It's not the mechanism of the reproduction that people find offensive, it's the attempt to make Giclees greater than what they are by using descriptive language once reserved for limited edition original prints (etching, engraving, mezotint, woodblock, serigraph, lithography, etc.).
In all the instances above, the original work of the artist is in creating the plate/stone/screen/block, hence there is no original of the viewed piece of art once the edition has been pulled and the plates defaced. The edition size is determined by the number of images that can be pulled before the plate begins to show wear, not the number the publisher thinks is the perfect combination between price and quantity.
Furthermore the inks and the inking/printing process are done by hand assuring a slight variance within the edition (the Europeans being less concerned about the consistency than we Americans).

With giclee as well as offset lithography, their is an original piece of work in another medium. The image is digitally or photo-mechanically copied and printed on paper/canvas. There can be no direct comparison between a piece printed on paper with an ink-jet and the original oil on canvas other than the recognizable image. There are no brush strokes, no dimension.
There should be a solid line drawn between reproductions and original prints. To not council your client as to the difference is to mislead them into associating the two technologies as being equal.
I think that any form of reproduction is a blessing to the ability to provide folks with the images they desire. Let's just be sure they know what they are buying.

Historically the Giclee had a rocky start, and there is still a good deal of caution in regard to their permanence and their acceptance as a legitimate art medium (as evidenced by some of the comments on this thread). The technology has never quite caught up to the marketing. Those of us that had bad experiences with the initial offerings are rightfully cautious about the claims of current publishings. The difficulty some folk have in stretching the works on canvas points to this need for caution.

Historically, as well, is the attempt by some of those interested in selling art to use tactics that attempt to add legitimacy to newer forms of art by associating them with established mediums. I have been to a number of auctions where the pitch for a piece of art was so shrouded in jargon and obfuscation that anyone other than a well versed art student could be easily duped into believing something was what it was not.

Having become somewhat jaded over the years as to my artistic bent I am not easy to embrace new technologies, and can more easily understand those that would be dubbed "art snob" for their insistence that original work is the only kind to have. Artists, publishers and the "secondary" market of limited edition reproduction (including Giclee) have managed to do much for the support of this opinion within the art world. It would seem, at times, that they are their own worst enemy.

I agree that something is "worth" what someone is willing to spend for it, but if they don't know exactly what they are getting there is some question as to the legitimacy of that worth.
 

Dave

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I think that the technology involved in giclee printing has improved dramatically over the past several years to a point that a giclee print is far superior to most metal plate lithographic reproductions. I agree with everything Wally said and that only time will tell if the technology has advanced enough to alleviate the problems of early giclee reproductions.

Giclee printing is nothing more than a high quality inkjet print...same as comes off your computer printer. The inks are more refined and colorfast, the surfaces used, generally better and the number of ink colors about doubled.

The method does not change the fact that it is indeed a reproduction of an original that is scanned and should not be considered an original even if the edition is small. The only time you might consider a reproduction an original is if the artist took that reproduction and elaborated on each individual reproduction and signed the piece apart from the printing. Is this a true original?...
shrug.gif


Dave Makielski
 

Lauren Tanzio

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In regards to the original questions posed here. I would NOT mist or use any chemistry on the back of a Watercolor or giclee. No matter how careful you are you could cause the inks/paints to run. I would say put it under a heavy weight overnight. If it's signed I wouldn't drymount it, but if the paper is as thick as I think you're saying it is, drymounting won't do any good anyways. Put a good, heavy 8-ply mat on it.

As for the canvas, keying the strecher bars might help, but you might want to let your customer know ahead of time that you can't guarantee that all the wrinkles will come out. I had a similar situation a while ago and the customer was POed when we couldn't get all the wrinkles out of his canvas without cracking the ink. One of those times when the customer kept asking "Why" and nothing I said convinced him...
 

Donna at MetroAF

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So you're saying we should not give our all to make every possible piece look its best?
I should frame the Motherwell "Brushy Elegy" a client just brought in with a small, black metal frame and no mats, the cheapest way possible, because it is a poster?
That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.
Just because it's not an original, that doesn't justify framing it like crap.
 

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Dave,
The only information I see on the technology is provided by the publishers and the producers of the technology...hasn't been shown to be a particuarly accurate source in the past.
I would like to see independent research, but where's the money going to come from, and who'll do it honestly?

Donna,
That's how Motherwell would have framed it.
thumbsup.gif
 

Emibub

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The problem with digital reproductions is there are so many different inks and surfaces used, they all need to be treated differently. There is no way for us as framers to know how to treat each one.

I just got the opportunity to sit though a discussion at a wonderful company called "Fine Print". They did a very informative presentation on how to handle different types of digital reproductions. You have pigment based and dye based inks that need different treatments. Which one can get wet? Some are better off dry mounted, but which ones can take heat? You have some without coatings to protect. Which ones are easier to stretch? Certain canvas giclees could sit out in the rain and not be harmed. Some of them will crack when you look at them.

All the information left me better informed and much more appreciative of the process. The results on a true professionally printed giclee are breathtaking. But, the info does me no good if I don't know what type of inks or canvas were used. My customers are not going to know how something is printed. Rarely are there any details provided with the prints.

The industry needs to develop standards and keep them uniform. I know that is easier said than done. Giclees on paper are easy enough to handle. Canvas giclees just leave me cold. I don't like knowing chances are good one will be returned to me. It is all well and good to say to staple them gently, but, depending on the inks used and the canvas type and whether or not there is a protective coating it honestly does not matter how gently you stretch them, they will ripple no matter what.

The ones they are charging thousands of dollars for need to come with details on how to handle. They need to make it acceptable to mount some of them to a board to avoid rippling. So far, the only ones held accountable seem to be us the framers, when the customers are not happy with the results. I am capable of handling the art, but with technology moving at such a pace it is hard to keep up, as framers, on all the new processes out there. Why should a customer spend thousands on a piece of art only to be told by their framer that "this may or may not stay flat"?

I own't enter into the discussion bout a gicleees value, I just wnat to frame it well.
 

MerpsMom

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Donna, I'll have to reread this discussion, but I'm not sure anyone is saying not to frame a piece to its best potential. Few Grs would recommend passing up a detailed frame job just because they didn't like the art. Am I reading you wrong?
 

Emibub

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Yeah, I had to go back and reread it too MM. I think she must have taken something wrong. Lot's of diverse opinions on the value of an inkjet. But, I bet there aren't too many framers out there that wouldn't give it the full treatment.

Let's face it, very few of us can afford original art. Isn't it wonderful there are so many ways to reproduce an original, some more affordable than others. I think the biggest disparity with the inkjets is the perceived value, it has muddied up the waters quite a bit.
 

Donna at MetroAF

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I made the coment because this was said:

"this discussion is about how to frame it..... give it the treatment it deserves. "

I took that to mean that a cheap print gets cheap framing, and a "real" piece of art gets "real" framing.
 

alejandro

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Well, let the customer decide if it is valuable or not and how to frame it.However, I'll never use cheap materials to do any job, otherwise I feel I'm cooking with expired ingredients!
 

JRB

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You can purchase an offset print for a few dollars. Giclee's cost a lot more to produce than an offset print. Although it is a more expensive printing process, it is still just a print, not an original work of art.

People are passing these things off to the buying public as something extra special, even telling them that they have been highlighted by the artist him/herself. Like that is a big deal.

They are being sold for into the thousands of dollars to the uneducated, would be collectors.

I went into the Waylan (spelling?) art gallery one evening about a year ago. Absolutely every piece in the place was a computer print on canvas.

I could not believe my ears when I heard the line of **** the "gallery director" was handing a would be collector. These where older people, obviously from out of town.

The prices where ridicules. I can not imagine a computer print being worth more than a couple of hundred dollars under the best of circumstances. Yet these nice old people where being ripped off for more than fifteen hundred dollars. To me, it is just robbery, plain and simple. Giclee = computer print, that is all.

I have had numerous customers bringing in their Giclee "investments" for framing. They have always paid five hundred dollars or more for these things. It is a shame that people will do this to others. I am talking about an unframed, unstretched, computer print on canvas.

John
 

Dave

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I have a very good framing client who is an internationally known Christian artist. His originals sell for 30-60K. His giclees are signed and numbered by him and printed out of state by his publisher. They sell for about $ 1500.00 ea. His editions are what I consider somewhat high (998) but the quality of the giclees is superb and the images breathtaking.
When I stretch his giclees I can pull them tighter than most canvases without cracking.

What do they cost to produce??? I don't know, but there is more to consider. The artist makes a royalty on both litho and giclee sales and I consider this valid.

What does it cost to produce pharmaceuticals?...pennies! Why is the price so high? Someone put much time, effort and investment into producing these wonder drugs and bringing them to market. Don't they deserve some return? I won't get into the debate about how much return is justified.

Much of the arguments about cost to produce the materials and the final price charged the customer could be applied to the end price of a custom frame job!!!!!

My objection in this whole discussion is an ignorant customer being taken by a sales pitch claiming that huge edition prints are collector's items. They are more than likely not and shouldn't be proffered as such.

Sell a reproduction as just that...a reproduction. Then let the customer decide if they like the image enough to pay the asking price. If they do, the price is then justified no matter what it is. If they are educated to what the image is and what it will probably never be, then the sale is fair and ethical. If they are left to believe otherwise, then the sale of that image is preying on others and is unethical and dispicable salesmanship.

Dave Makielski
 
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