framing giclees

Sharonx

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
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May 27, 2003
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From
Watertown, SD
giclees have just become super popular here in backward SD.
What is the correct way to mount them is the customer insists on matting and glass.
Most framers are stretching them on stretcher bars with no glass.

A competitor muttered something about stretching them over acid free mat with a hole cut in the center. This makes no sense to me.

Let me know how you experts handle this
Thanks,
Sharon
 

schnoubi

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Jan 10, 2005
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From
Colorado
We are seeing a lot of these here in CO as well. We are mounting them on stretcher bars, no glass. The acid free mat with hole that you mentioned makes no sense to me, either... I have had good luck just stretching like a normal canvas.
 

Kathy B

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Aug 20, 2003
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From
Fort Collins, Colorado
Sharon:
If it is canvas with pigmented inks and coated (which is what we do), you are safe to either stretch it like an original sans glass or glue it to Gatorboard with either Miracle Muck or Laminall. If you take this route, make sure none of the adhesive rolls onto the face of the giclee. It'll wreck it.
If it is on watercolor paper, glass must be used, even if printed with pigmented inks.
If printed with dye-based inks, they will run if they come in contact with moisture.
Not sure? The C of A should have some information. Don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.
Kathy Bauer, Fine Pring Imaging
 

John Richards

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Richfield, MN 55423
Sharon: Most of the giclee's that I see now come with a "suggested" method of mounting / stretching. If it's canvas backed, especially the very thin canvas then I've seen them suggest using a layer of acid free foam between the giclee and the stretcher bar. This appears to allow a little bit of cusion (sic) on the edges which will prevent the canvas substrate from cracking. This is stretched as a normal canvas. No holes! Yikes. Matting could be tricky but knowing you, you'll be able to build it up and sell it!
 

deaconsbench

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May 30, 2005
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historic Charleston, SC
Originally posted by Sharon:

A competitor muttered something about stretching them over acid free mat with a hole cut in the center. This makes no sense to me.
A COMPETITOR... 'nuff said! Now you can mark that one down as someone who is trying to hurt your business.
 

Kathy B

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Fort Collins, Colorado
Jim, that's scary. What we print is far from fragile. My unscientific test: I took a 16x20 canvas giclee home last May, thumbtacked it to the west-facing outside wall of my house and left it up through November. Exposed to rain, hail, sun, wind, my golden retriever proudly bringing it to my when it blew off - and nary a scratch, chip, fade or crack. It saddens me to hear these stories - quite unacceptable. Kathy
 

Jim Miller

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kathyb:

Yes, it is scary. Last week we had one that was probably printed a year or two ago, and its inks are extremely water sensitive. It has a beautiful matte surface, but a tiny drop of spittle would ruin it instantly and completely.

Is the technology of your indestructible giclee so common now that you would call it typical? If you consider my comment unacceptable, I apologize. Please enlighten me. In your opinion, what percentage of giclees on the market today are so durable as yours?

To be sure, technical advances in fine art inkjet printing have made huge improvements in longevity and durability and that likely will continue.

Meanwhile and for a long time to come, we framers still have to contend with older-technology giclees made using water soluble inks and canvas giclees that will crack with the slightest excess tension in stretching. And I imagine that there will continue to be giclee printers who will quietly substitute cheaper papers and inks for the the tested & recommended ones, resulting in less-than-indestructible giclees.

I'll still recommend glazing, because that would help protect it from the dog's teeth marks the next time it blows away.
 

TheDoctah

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NH
I think you want to inquire about the particulars of any given giclee, not all of which are printed on canvas, BTW. Knowing what it was printed on can give you a big hint about its durability and archival (or not!) qualities. I'd be skeptical of any dye based print. You really want pigmented inks for longevity and durability. The downside (there always has to be one) is that the color gamut such inks are capable of reproducing is somewhat less than that of dye based inks, but unless your giclee is replete with bright, supersaturated colors, you'll be looking for pigmented inks. Pigmented inks on photo rag paper are remarkably resistant to water damage. There's a fair bit of information available about the qualities of ink/paper combinations; one suspects similar information is available for ink/canvas combinations as well.

As for giclee printers quietly substituting lesser materials; that's madness. Talk about a quick road to a ruined reputation. I'm sure there must be some who'd do so, but the mentality escapes me.
shrug.gif
 

Jim Miller

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Originally posted by TheDoctah:
...As for giclee printers quietly substituting lesser materials; that's madness. Talk about a quick road to a ruined reputation. I'm sure there must be some who'd do so, but the mentality escapes me.
shrug.gif
Certificates of Authenticity provided by reputable giclee publishers often include information about the inkset and paper, especially if it is one of those recommended for longevity by the Wilhelm Institute, the go-to source for that kind of information.

Mr. Wilhelm and his staff must be very busy these days with all the changes going on in that segment of the art industry.

Yes Doctah, it would be madness for a reputable publisher to purposely mislead fine art giclee customers. But almost anyone can be a publisher now, and reputation may be a secondary concern. For example a self-published artist who markets locally or regionally may be be more concerned about immediate profit than longevity or reputation. Or the artist/publisher may have good intentions, but suffer from what we could say is innocent ignorance.

Professional, big-name publishers are surely the best bet. What about prints reproduced overseas, where a subcontractor's quality control could be difficult to monitor? Longevity may not be judged by appearance, so if a subcontracted printing job is inferior, it could be years before that is known.

Also, such substitutions could happen accidentally, when a supplier says of a new development in paper or inkset, "It's just as good as XYZ". A manufacturer's marketing claims could mislead, which is why Wilhelm's work is so important.

When a customer brings in a giclee on paper, board, or canvas without a statement about its production materials, we have to guess its longevity. For the purposes of informing customers and properly framing such a giclee, would it be safer for us to assume the best or the worst?
 

TheDoctah

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For example a self-published artist who markets locally or regionally may be be more concerned about immediate profit than longevity or reputation. Or the artist/publisher may have good intentions, but suffer from what we could say is innocent ignorance.
I think the latter is much more likely than the former, at least as I sit as a self-publisher. ;) I am careful to use 100% cotton photo rag papers and ultrachrome pigmented inks for my work, rated by the Wilhelm Institute to last for many decades before noticeable fading occurs. I can't imagine doing it any other way. The fact is that unless you have a lot of volume, skimping on materials makes very little difference to the bottom line, and if you get caught, you can ruin your reputation. It's awfully high stakes for very little gain.
 

Sharonx

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Watertown, SD
Sorry I should have been more specific. The giclee is on very! thin canvas. If it were hinged to the mat like heavy paper, will it stretch over time? I am still puzzling on these. Hope the fad doesn't last and printers go back to paper.
 

Jim Miller

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Maybe there are methods of making giclees on canvas that I don't know about yet, but here are two I've encountered:

When a giclee is printed directly onto canvas that has been specially-coated to accept certain inksets, sometimes the coating is so brittle that it will crack at the folded edges.

Giclees may be also be printed on paper and then mounted to canvas, something like a canvas-transferred poster. That, too, could crack or split under the tension of stretching.

In both cases the direct support for the image seems to stretch less than the fabric to which it is attached. So we mount carefully with minimum tension. However, the fabric may relax later, loosening the mount & bringing the customer back for re-stretching. Of course, we do it again at no charge.

As far as I know there is no perfect solution for this problem with giclees on canvas. Yet.
 

Sharonx

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
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Watertown, SD
Thanks Jim for the advice. I have a competitor in town who would love to ruin my reputation. They find fault with anything I do. Now at least I can tell my customer I check with experts and have an answer.
 
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