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Archival mounting of a canvas on board

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Robert Montgomery, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

    I'm trying to figure out how to archivally mount large, limited edition giclee canvasses onto board, without drymounting or cold mounting. Some of the giclees will be up to five feet long, by as much as two feet wide.

    I plan to use Premier Art Eco Print Shield to veneer the canvas giclees. (I read on the Internet that the new formulation isn't subject to damage if frozen down to a particular temperature, unlike the original formulation and Glamor II.)

    I don't have access to dry mounting equipment, and I read on the Internet that cold mounting is not archival. I don't want to use a spray because I'm not set up for spraying. So that leaves me with gluing as my only adherence option.

    After allowing the veneer to dry, I would glue the veneered canvas to a board with some sort of a glue.

    I'm considering using Lascaux 360 because it's a removeable glue, but I'm concerned about the toxicity of the stuff.

    I had thought of using Miracle Muck, but I read on the Internet that it's not removable and that it can be damaged by freezing and the manufacturer's site says it's not conservation-grade. Also, I have concerns about its removability because a Web site (http://docs.google.com/gview?a=v&q=...&gl=ca&sig=AFQjCNHVksXoskO_BTMGxZdOjmFToe5kHQ) says that it's heat-reactivatevable, and that implies that heat used to damage the Muck could damage the giclee.

    I had also considered an acrylic gel or Golden Paint's GAC 500, but they're also not removeable.

    Yes Glue, I understand, is not archival enough.

    Also, I had considered Laminall glue, but it makes a permanent bond – not a removable one.

    I don't know what kind of board to buy. I think it should be one-half inch thick because people like the profile when the canvas giclees stick out from the wall, and the board should be stiff so it doesn't warp. I'm looking for acid-free foamcores, but the ones I've seen are only three-sixteenths of an inch thick, so I don't think they'd be stiff enough and that they'd warp too much.

    For example, I've looked into buying Artcare Foamboard. It's acid-free, but does it warp? It's only three-sixteenths of an inch thick.

    The board should be black, because canvas giclees are normally black-sided, because I was told some people in the art and printing businesses that they look better with black sides when they're in floater frames.

    I've read in the forum that some people use Gatorfoam, a.k.a. Gatoreboard, but I read on the Net it's not archival, and I'm concerned that some of the acidity could pass the barrier glue to damage the canvas. Is that true?

    Also MDF or Masonite are acidic, and as well they're way too heavy.

    I need a lightweight, black board that doesn't warp, that can be cut easily with an art knife and that doesn't dent or chip easily.

    I'm considering black Rynoboard (one-half inch thick).(For example at http://www.gilmanbrothers.com/ryno.html.) I see on that site that the liner of the Rynoboard resists moisture, is acid-free and dent-resistant, but I don't know how easy it would be to cut the one-half-inch-thick board an art knife.

    So I would have the veneer on the surface of the canvas giclee to protect against U.V. damage, scratches and moisture; then under that the canvas print; then underneath that the glue (maybe Lascaux) and under that some sort of board.

    To keep the workload and costs down, I would prefer not to frame, so somehow I'd attach screws, plates and wire to the back of the board.

    How could I do such a setup?

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  2. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I don't think I have seen so many issues in a single post ever. Your black solid archival substrate alone would run more than a frame job in my store. Best practice would be to stretch it on stretcher bars and frame it.

    Is this your art or a customers. You could purchase half inch black acrylic and it will run a fortune. Then you would need to mount it with a non-reversable adhesive to assure it does not lift. then you would need to damage the acrylic by screwing into this finished piece.

    Who is the artist or photographer. Is this something that is selling for many thousands of dollars. By the time it sells it would have to in order for anybody to make a dime on the project. If you are a framer the retail on the job would be $2,000 plus just for your piece of the project.

    Give us some more information. Why is cost of anything an issue with such a valuable piece of art?
  3. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    "I'm considering using Lascaux 360 because it's a removeable glue, but I'm concerned about the toxicity of the stuff."

    Done it, on 8 ply, works great backed with coroplast and a strainer, but toxicity? what are you talking about, your not eating the stuff.

    Gator board is pretty much sealed on the surface, not much going through that, anything bad is coming out the sides. At least that what a museum offical was trying to explain to me, not sure I buy it.

    The cheapest option is streching, so I am with Jeff. Doing it with out a frame? I don't know that you can get everything you want on this job.
  4. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

    Thanks, R. Are the many museums that use Gatorboard?

    I'm just trying to be careful. :confused:I read this about Lascaux 360: "Lascaux Acrylic Adhesives 360 HV and 498 HV are thermoplastic copolymer butyl-methacrylate dispersions thickened with acrylic butyl-ester. ...They are all water-thinnable, but insoluble in water after drying. Once dry they are permanently soluble in acetone, toluene and xylene, but insoluble in White Spirit, VM & P Naphtha." I don't know much about chemistry, but to me, that sounds like nasty stuff.

    Preservator wrote in another thread: "The paper on those boards is stiffened with a urea formaldehyde resin, which means that they should be isolated from valuable works, by a vapor-barrier." Formadehyde? That's well known for toxicity.

    in many galleries and frame shops I've seen many photos that were backed with a thick, solid, black backing. Surely you, too, must have seen such mounting.

    There are many problems associated with stretching. I've experienced them myself, and have read many horror tales about them in this forum as well. :)

  5. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

    Thanks, Jeff. I'm just trying to prepare the art to conservation standards. I thought that's standard these days. :confused:

    If conservation standards aren't used, the art can be damaged and then the customer might bring it back, and I'd be in trouble. It's happened to me previously on two of my own artworks that I sold at galleries. That's embarrassing, and a headache to try to repair damaged work that wasn't done properly in the first place.

    They're my own canvas giclees and I want to retail them for about $700 or $800 max.

  6. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

    Another reason I want to mount rather than stretch is because stretching requires a significant amount of canvas that must be reserved for wrapping around the sides and backs of the canvasses.

    I'm working on a 24-inch-wide printer.

    If I mount, I can go up to about 23.5 inches wide with my images.

    If the giclee is to be stretched, I have to sacrifice 4.5 inches of that image width for the stretching. 2.25 inches on one side and 2.25 inches on the other side = 4.5 inches for stretching on the backs and sides.

    That means the canvas width of 24 inches, minus 4.5 inches, equals 19.5 inches. So the maximum image width I can print, if the image is stretched is 19.5 inches, versus 23.5 inches for the maximum image width I can print if the giclees are going to be mounted.

    That means that if I stretch, I will have to reduce my image sizes by about 30 percent. If the image size is so much smaller, I have to charge about 30 percent less, which means I make less money.

    And I can't afford to buy a 44-inch printer now.

  7. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    First of all the black boards you are seeing is black faom core. The core is black as well. Very few photographers are using conservation standards in their giclees. I print with the Epson 9800 and have to go through the options with artists and photographers.

    Many of the photo processors don't really offer ANY TRULY ARCHIVAL options. I see a ton of the stuff every week. I mount both paper and canvas for labs and studios. Most often they have me mount on foam core for paper and masonite for canvas. Most of the professional artists and photographers do what they can afford without worry for the conservation quality. There is a lot of misinformation as to what is and what is not conservation. Many consider so called acid free materials to be conservation. They are just buffered and not free of acid. The acid is neutralized so they can offer some protection but not archival at all.

    My personal opinion is that gallery wraps are cheesy and cheap unless it is an ultra modern piece of art in an ultra modern setting. Wal-Mart, Target and Home Goods are full of gallery wraps. They start at less than $10 so what does that tell you about what they are.

    Remember that original art is what the artist intended it to be. Ansel Adams mounted to illustration board and they are still valuable. Mounting to many different substrates with many different adhesives can keep a giclee viable for centuries. I would stretch them with genuine stretcher bars and frame them with genuine frames. You can print at 21 inches and with a little practice you will be able to stretch them. Do the right thing from the start and you will never regret that decision.
  8. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    You can click borderless printing and print the full 24". If you have a good printer just ignore that annoying warning you get when doing borderless printing. It does not affect anything other than clipping a small amount of the edge image.
  9. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

    It seems to me that buffered is better than no buffer, because the buffering should delay the acidic damage.

    I also disagree with your criticism of gallery wraps based on the fact that they're sold at stores like Wal Mart. Wal Mart also sells diamond jewelry. That doesn't mean that the value of diamond jewelry in general is diminished. There's a market for canvas giclees and it's understandable, because they're a mid-range product between paper prints and paintings. Most people can't afford the paintings, but some can afford the canvas prints.

    Ansel Adams's photos on illustration board are still valuable because he's one of America's most famous photographers – if not THE most famous one. I'm not in that league, so I can't get away with using shoddy techniques.

    You wrote that mounting with many substrates with many adhesives can keep giclees viable for centuries. What are those substrates and adhesives?

    I can't print at 21 inches. For big canvasses, the stretcher bars should be deep, so that the frame remains unwarped. That means I need one and-a-half inches x 2 = 3 inches for the sides, plus another inch x 2 inches for the backs. That makes 19 inches for the maximum width.

  10. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

    Sorry about all the info in my letter. I feel overwhelmed by issue, because it's so complicated.

    So there's no archival substrate other than acrylic? Acrylic is too heavy, as well as being too expensive.

    What about Art Care foamboard, which is three-sixteenths of an inch thick. I'm not sure if it's warp-resistant enough.

    Also, somebody wrote here that museaums use Gatorboard a.k.a. Gatorfoam. If it's good enough for museums, surely it would be considered sufficiently archival? (Or was the Gatorboard in the museums only used for the signs that described the artifacts, rather than as a substrate for art work?)

    Today I was in an art supply store, and I found a type of hanger called an AMS Kwik foamcore hanger. It's got four teeth on it. You push the hanger into the foamcore and the teeth dig into the foamcore. With those embedded into the foamcore, I could put wire between the hangers.

    Are you sure I'd need a non-reversible adhesive? Lascaux 360 has a strong bond and it's removable. Would it not give a strong enough bond?

    Aouldn't a barrier like Lascaux 360 protect the giclee from acidic content of the board?

  11. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

    Thanks for the tip, Jeff. I checked my Epson 7600 manual. It says that 24 inches is one of the widths that allows borderless printing.

    But I'm afraid to use that setting because sometimes the canvas goes crookedly into the printer, and I'm worried that I might therefore damage the printer.

    Also, I'd only be using 24-inch-wide printing if I can figure out a way to mount my canvas on a solid substrate in a relatively archival and relatively inexpensive way, and you've indicated that's not doable.

  12. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Once again so many issues in one string. First let's adress the printing. You should be using canvas on a roll and if you are try reducing the suction on the printer. You won't cause any damage to an Epson by simply feeding canvas. A jam is a jam and its no big deal.

    Gator foam is very commonly used even in the high end. It is what it is. We're not talking about stuf disintegrating or anything here. I've seen tons of items that were mounted to every surface imaginable since beginning in the 70's. If you are selling these as truly archival stick to using stretcher bars or 8 ply rag boards.

    I wouldn't display them mounted on foam or gator with the stab hangers. You are puncturing surfaces the minute they are ready to hang. Try mounting 2 lengths of frame moulding to the wall spread apart enough to slide the mounted pieces in for viewing. 2 ten foot lenghts would allow for several of the same height pices to be held in place.

    Where are these pieces displayed and who is your buyer. How are they being marketed. We are picture framers so if you ask how to display them we will always respond with picture frames.
  13. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

    Why would the black, archival substrate cost more than a framing job in your store? I can buy a 40- by 60-inch sheet of black Artcare Foamboard for less than $5, and I can use that for mounting two prints.

    What about Artcare Restore?

    What about this five-year-old magazine article, which says that dry-mounting of giclees is superior to stretching? (http://www.inkjetart.com/news/archive/IJN_08-19-04.html#2c) > Press the "Featured Article: The Best Way to Mount Fine Art Inkjet Papers and Canvas.

    The article quotes photographer Scott Peck:

    ""Having sold hundreds of canvas prints by now, in galleries from wet Hawaii to dry Sedona, I have completely abandoned stretching the prints on conventional stretcher bars and will only dry mount them onto Artcare foamcore with a low temperature strippable archival adhesive (meaning the print can be easily and cleanly removed, if necessary, retaining its value).

    "This approach came after some problems early on with ink separation in the stretching process, sagging in humid locales, concerns about the lack of protection for the exposed canvas and surprise at how beat up a stretched, pulled and stapled canvas really looks after its removal."

    "The other nice aspect to this technique is that the cost tends to run the same or less than stretching if the framer is properly equipped and, to date, we have not had a single failure or lost print due to the pressing process. "

  14. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Youre not buying Artcare 40x60 Black for $5 unless it is at a garage sale. You asked about a hard substrate that was 1/2" thick and that is what I pointed out. Now you go to a soft 3/16". I sell 24x36 frames from custom moulding for under $20. Bars would run $10 cut and joined. If you ink and canvas is flaking you should return to buying genuine Epson supplies because their canvas doesn't delam like many of the less expensive items.

    You have asked several valuable questions but you are all over the map here. Tell me your end product wish and I will tell you how to get there. Things cost what they cost so you must accept that as fact. Don't use a brand name and then look for the cheapest alternative when I give you the info on the specific brand you quote.

    We have already determined that professional materials in my store would be less than $30. Frame and stretchers plus 15 minutes of your time to stretch and fit. Substandard canvas will give substandard results.
  15. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Robert, you've obviously done your homework. Most of your commentary is accurate, but there are a few soft spots...

    Wet mounting with starch paste would be inert, stable, and water-reversible. Trouble is, it requires imparting moisture to the back of the art, which could be a problem with a digital image, and it requires a porous substrate.

    Dry mounting with any heat-activated adhesive would be less chemically-stable than wet mounting, and the heat could damage a lot of digital images.

    As mounting adhesives go, aerosol sprays are at the bottom of the heap in bond strength, longevity, and chemical stability. Also, their oversprays of propellant and particulate are deadly toxic, so careful ventilation is absolutely necessary for their application.

    That is not an issue with Lascaux. Lascaux is waterborne, and does not contain any toxic nastygas. There is very little smell to it in the jar, and none when it dries. It is chemically stable, so it will not migrate or weaken as much as many other adhesives. The solvents you read about are used to dissolve the dried adhesive. Reversing a Lascaux bond would be a conservation treatment, done by a conservator in a carefully-controlled environment. When that is finished, the chemicals are free to evaporate before the art is placed in a closed environment, such as a storage container or a frame.

    If I were in your shoes, Lascaux 360 would be my choice for the adhesive.

    About the substrate, you are right to avoid Gatorfoam and Masoinite. Foam center board would probably warp. Coroplast would be a good choice, but must be lined with a smooth surface, such as 4-ply matboard.

    Maybe the best substrate for you would be 1/4" acrylic, which is available in many opaque colors as well as clear.

    Another good choice might be 1/8" thick aluminum composite sheeting, such as ePanel, DiBond, AlucoBond, etc. These sheets come in convenient 48x96 size, with or without painted coatings. You could easily paint the very-thin edges. Hanging hardware would be an issue, however. Maybe you could drill into the core-material (often PVC similar to Sintra) at the edges and insert clips or metal rods for attachment of hardware.

    If these canvas-printed images would be tolerant of 160F to 180F temperatures, you could dry mount them to a specially prepared aluminum-composite sheet. The bond would be tight enough to hold the canvas securely to the board, but reversible by simply pulling off the canvas.

    I have seen only propotypes of this, but it may be a standard mounting product in the near future. Cutting the aluminum sheeting could be done with some types of saws, but the cleanest, burr-free edges are produced by pinch-roller-cutters available with thge Fletcher-Terry FSC. (I have one in my shop and consult for the maker). If you are interested in more information, contact me at privately artframe@att.net.
  16. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Jim, he is printing on an Epson so heat is not an issue if he clear coats the images after mounting. Most of the commonly used coatings can also withstand the heat. I mount with Laminall at 210 all of the time and never an issue.

    Photo papers are the only thing he would need lower temps for but he is all canvas. 1/4" aluminum can be purchased precut from sign supply distributors but then he is back to what adhesive he wants to use. If he is doing this wet he should use a vacuum press to insure proper adhesion.

    It all comes down to a wish list a mile long with no budget to achieve the goals. Spend the money and he can have it all. I don't understand how an artist or photographer can decide their work is worth nearly a thousand dollars to the retail customer but will only spend $5 or $6 to prepare it for sale.
  17. framerbob

    framerbob CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Here's my 2 cents:

    1. Unframed canvas look tacky and cheap unless they are gallery wrapped. You have already stated that you dont want to do gallery streching because it reduces your image size.

    2. All foam center products will warp, and it is also very hard to transport and handle them without denting or damaging the edges and corners, and even if you went with a more expensive option such as plexi or metal, you still see the white edge of the canvas where it meets the substrate

    3. I'm with jeff, your least expenisive option (and most archival)would be to mount (drymount or roller glue mount) to artcare foam board then put it into an inexpensive yet classy black frame, thus preventing the edges from getting damaged and keeping the board flat. Tell your potential customers that all of your work comes preframed that way at no additional cost (if your selling them for $7-800 you can eat $30 and still make good money) and that if they want a different frame, to vistit their local custom framer, and since the black frame didnt cost them anything, they dont lose anything if they take it off, and if they choose to leave it on, great it's ready to go on the wall
  18. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

    Thanks a lot, guys.

    Bob, I think the points you made here are key, and that point number 3 is the best route for me.

    I think this is the information I've been looking for: It would be archival, relatively inexpensive, classy, professional-looking, low in toxicity and could be done with a minimum of labor and materials. And it wouldn't cost anywhere near the $2,000 estimate that Jeff said woud be required to do the job according to my specifications (except that I'll have to concede by having to add a frame).

    I've been trying to get the look of Laminart, but with museum-quality, but based on my research and the advice here, I realize now that I have to compromise, so I guess that adding a black liner will be the compromise I choose to make.

    I assume that the frames would keep the three-sixteenths-inch-thick Artcare foamboard flat enough that I wouldn't require any other backing materials to keep them flat.

    I'll be consigning most of these canvas giclees at galleries/frame shops. It's crucial to keep my productions costs down, because whatever wholesale price I set, the frame shop/galleries will double the price to arrive at the retail price.

    In my opinion, museum wraps can look classy and I wouldn't mind using that look. It's a fashionable way to exhibit paintings and prints even at many elite galleries. But as was pointed out, I'm better off using frames because of the denting and scuffing problem with foamcore. Also, I find it hard to cut flawlessly with an art knife, so a frame would cover such imperfections.

  19. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Thank you for starting this thread, Robert,
    and to those of you who responded. It's
    full of great ideas and answers to some of
    my questions.

    Jim, when you mount a 4 ply mat to coroplast,
    do you use Lascaux 360 in betweent them, too?
    I know this might be taboo, but would Yespaste
    work between the mat and acrylic? Do you think
    of it as archival, just not as good as Lascaux, or
    do you think of it as to be avoided?

    Robert, I just found a site with your name on it.
    If you're the one who takes wedding photos, then
    congrats on being named Pro Wedding Photographer
    of the year for your state. That's great! You do very
    nice work.
  20. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    My two cents-

    1. You have other "issues" to consider if archivability is a concern. Read the permanence criteria for Epson inks and I believe you will see that the specifications for permanence require the ink to be under glass. So, all the top coating you can apply will not prevent fading, most likely from a combination of UV light and ozone. You will most likely see these environmental effects long before any result from mounting to any substrate. Seems kind of silly to fret over mounting because other environmental factors will most likely come into play first.

    Even if you go to Premier's website and read the stats re: the top coating you are specifying, the life of the piece (when top coated) is at least doubled in the worst case when covered with glass. The best rating even when coated, but not glazed is 37 years. It sure seems to me that if I were buying an "expensive" piece of art, I would expect it to last longer than that.

    You have not stated what you are printing on and with what ink set.

    How do you plan on applying the top coat? Spray can? How much is enough? How are you sure it will be even? Roller? Again same questions. How thick?

    From Epson's website:

    "The primary factors that affect print longevity are light, water, pollution (including ozone), temperature, and humidity."

    "We recognize that ozone is a threat to the longevity of prints using certain Epson paper and dye-based ink combinations. Placing
    these type of prints (as well as prints made with other manufacturers’ dye-based inkjet prints) in a frame behind glass provides adequate protection against atmospheric contaminants."

    " Lightfastness ratings are based on accelerated testing of prints on specialty media displayed indoors, under glass."

    "Epson recommends that prints be framed under glass.......... to protect the prints from atmospheric contaminants like humidity, cigarette smoke, and high levels of ozone. "

    2. Unless there is some form of protection to the face of the piece, mounting to any soft foam board is risky as there is more damage from unintended indentation to the face of the piece from mishandling in transportation and storage.

    3. Based on the size mentioned, and if you intend for them to go into frames, I would opt for an 8-ply conservation board. If warpage is a concern, make some panels with the same blank paper/canvas you are outputting to, then when dry, mount your art to the other side. Be sure to completely dry under weight to minimize warpage and keep the boards under weight until used.

    4. I still think the best substrate is either natural gator, or a 4 ply conservation board laminated to the face of the gator, or mighty-core or rhyno-board. If the piece is not being glazed, the outgassing should not be a problem.

    5. Even if you mount to a foam centered board, a floater frame is not appropriate.

    6. Why not overprint black selvage and gallery wrap so the image is on the face and you have black sides?
  21. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    At our shop, she refuses to gallery wrap pieces with side
    color strips like this. It's so hard to line up the line of demarcation
    to land just on the edge of the stretcher, especially when the
    fabric decides to stretch more in one direction than the other.

    What our printer guy does is, he uses a computer program
    (something in Photoshop?) to mirror out part of the image.
    Not cloning it, but a true mirror of it. We wrap it so that the
    mirror is on the edge (which is still a bit dicey, but less of
    an eye trap than a crooked color line) and it works very

    Rob, your comment about the pieces needing glazing
    reminds me of something I wonder about. We get guys
    bringing in photos on canvas to sell as gallery wraps. Our
    local photographers, who like the look. One has his done by
    a place that won't coat them with any UV protectant. They
    told him it's not necessary indoors. I told him that flourescent
    lights fade artwork, too, and that they aren't correct.
    The guy who mirrors out images for us always sprays his
    with about seven coats of a UV protectant. I like to think that
    this will protect them, and they look good, but I get concerned
    about whether it really will or not.

    The reason I still feel okay about selling the uncoated ones
    is that the guy provides an unconditional replacement guarantee
    on them for the life of the original owner. I told him he should
    think about qualifying that, as it can be read to include a
    five year old with an exacto knife, or any other damage, but
    for it does mean that if one fades, he'll replace it. I still wonder,
    though, even about our coated ones, if it's enough.
  22. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Robert, you should use a $2 Home Depot retractible utility knife to cut with. Exacto and other art type knifes are for thin precision trimming. Get a 48" heavy metal stright edge ruler and put some tape on the back to keep it from slipping during the trimming process. I use fabric surgical tape for the back. Less than $10 and your cuts will be perfect and take a fraction of the time.

    As to the archival piece of the puzzle you are now in conservation land but archival would be a stretch. As I said before the use of the term archival is used very loosely. Archival is fully reversible with no chance of harm to the artwork. Stretching would meet the archival criteria but mounting not so much. Again as I had mentioned previously if you the artist intended the art to be mounted to hard or soft board then it is in its original condition.

    I understand the desire for marketing these as "Archival Giclees" but you would be better served refering to them as being "Printed and Mounted Using Archival Materials". That reference would remove any future liability if there was an issue. The nice thing about producing your own Giclee on canvas is that you the artist can replace one in the future if there were a claim against you.
  23. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    In my store I refuse to gallery wrap anything. I found that by putting the price at 5 times the price of framing the truth comes out every time. The response is always that they were looking for a cheap alternative.

    I am a frame shop for crying out loud. This is not a factory in China tuning out disposable junk. Price the wrap high enough and you will never have to do one.:bdh:
  24. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    When we wrap them ourselves, we do price them plenty high.
    A couple of our guys are getting them done elsewhere, though,
    and bringing them in to sell on consignment. Good local photographers,
    but it's a challenge when they were printed and stretched elsewhere.

    What I think about gallery wraps is this. They usually only work
    in clean, 'contemporary' spaces. One of our customers has a big
    entryway to her new home. She has a wide wall on the right, with
    a table, a couple decorative things on it, and a big gallery wrapped
    canvas of our local mountains on it. It looks beautiful, and aesthetically
    pure by itself. Another lady bought one at a different frame shop, took
    it home, and then brought it to me for framing. She has a home
    built in the late 1800's and the gallery wrapped landscape had
    no border to set it off from it's surroundings. She hung (hanged?)
    it on a wall of vertically striped wallpaper, with little doodad flourishes
    in the pattern, and it all crashed together, making the photo
    look like an accident.

    I put a simple, aged platinum frame on it, and it came to life.
    Gave it a visual separation from what was around it, and
    not it looks great.

    I agree about not liking cheap, faddish looks, but there
    are times when a gallery wrap looks good to me. I wouldn't
    want to dismiss them out of hand. Same with gallery
    wrapped original paintings. A great many paintings look
    best in frames, but sometimes a gallery wrap can look good.
  25. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Not if you take my class :) It is a lot easier than you think, and they look great in a floater framer- better than a mirrored image in many instances. Larson has a new line of white floaters and we use white edges for those and they look great.

    We do "mirrored edges too" but usually for Gallery Wraps that are not going in frames.

    Those of you who "refuse" to do Gallery Wraps" are leaving money on the table, especially if you ever intend to do corporate sales. We do lots of them and make money on the art, stretching, and installation. These 3 were about $4500 plus installation and were part of a $16,000 project. I don't think the client would have gone for the pieces if framed and they looked great in the space.

    I don't want to frankenthread this post, but it sure seems to me to be a good "investment" to spend tax deductible money on education that will teach a revenue producing skill. You may even have to borrow the money, but in January and February, the best educational opportunities of the year will be available and one idea, skill, or contact made could more than pay for the entire experience.

    Jeff- With all of your capabilities, I cannot believe you "refuse" to do anything (unless it is detrimental to the art). Self limitations are often the seed of our own demise. Many "refuse" to offer plaque mounting of Diplomas (that were all the rage years ago). While I don't personally like them, I had a doctor who moved to San Diego bring me a new(er) certificate that he wanted plaqued to match the rest (about a dozen) of his certificates in his office. I brought out our samples of plaquing background and edge colors (it is a subcontracted service) and took his order......then he gave Barbara the contract for doing the new artwork in the rest of his office, a multi-thousand dollar job. If I had started out the conversation by saying "we don't do that" I firmly believe we would not have been offered the opportunity to do the rest of the work as he probably would have gone to someone who would do the plaquing for him.

    I service architects, space planners and interior designers - if they specify something it is a signal to CLOSE THE SALE - so I say, "sure" we can do that and move onto the rest of the order.

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  26. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

    According to this article on the Inkjetart.com site
    http://www.inkjetart.com/news/archive/IJN_08-19-04.html#2 (See Featured article) the recommended dry mounting technique wouldn't damage canvas giclees. And the printing was done using Ultrachrome inks on an Epson printer – the same setup I'm using.

    There's a frame shop/gallery nine blocks from my studio. That shop has a large press (I'm not sure if it's mechanical or vacuum.) I was just planning to take my material there for drymounting, but then you wrote here that Lascaux 360 HV is reversible, if done properly.
    So I'd rather use Lascaux 360 HV, because I wouldn't have the hassle of outsourcing the dry mounting.

    I'm trying to keep the weight light, so acrylic is not a good option. (I hate heavy artwork, and I think a lot of gallery owners and art buyers also do.)

    I'm working in a crowded art studio – not a frame shop – and I'm not good at mechanics, so I want to avoid saws and drills as much as possible, so aluminum panels that require sawing and drilling are also impractical for me. (The only saw I use is a hack saw.)

  27. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

    I made a mistake on the Artcare foamcare price. I should have written that it costs about $25 for one sheet – not $5.

    The board is only one component, so obviously even $25 wouldn't be nearly enough to pay for the printing, coating and mounting/stretching of each canvas giclee.

    I wrote that I want to do the job as inexpensively as possible. I didn't mean that my budget is $5 per canvas giclee.

    I've done a few canvas giclee jobs so far, so i have a good idea of the costs involved in doing it the way I've been doing it so far.

  28. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

    You're welcome, Shayla.

    No, I'm not the photographer.

  29. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Rob, I will do them just never found one single individual in my current location that was wanting the look rather than the cheapest option possible. At 5 times my framing prices they are profitable for me but nobody has really wanted the look, just being cheap.

    The best thing any business can do is determine how to sort out the customers and I've found price does that every time. I am willing to do anything a customer is actually willing to fairly compensate me for doing. I can frame at least one if not several pieces in the time it takes to gallery wrap. Gallery wrap leaves a lot of liability open for framers. Every customer wanting gallery wrap tells me it should only cost $10 or $20 because there is no frame. I tell them that they can buy some stretching plyers and a stapler and I'll sell them bars. They tell me it is not worth their time to do it themselves. I run a business that can easily produce at the rate of $2 per minute and they do nothing but their time is not worth doing it themselves.

    As I said before I am a business and not a charity. Buy a freakin' frame or ease on down the road. I deal with over 400 artists and photographers currently and the only way to remain sane is to learn to say "No" or fully compensate me for my time. I will show an artist the door in a heartbeat and have done so repeatedly. They always return. I have artist tell me they can buy things like foam core for a dollar a sheet yet they continue to buy it from me. I don't know what they don't understand about "doing this since the 70's". They think the Turnip Truck just rolled through.

    Rob, if I can find some suckers to pay me $1500 a piece for gallery wraps I will throw all of my frame corner samples in the trash. I live where the cheapest people in the world come to retire. There is no industry here other than tourism. I've done hotel jobs in years gone by but won't do it here. The biggie in the hotel framing industry here doesn't even own a mounting press after a decade or so. That alone should tell you what I am dealing with here. All corporate jobs would be 2 hours away. I took a $125,000 beating in the last housing recession so all work is 100% paid upon ordering. A one man shop needs to chose their battles and I have drawn many lines in the sand.
  30. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

    You misread the information you read on the Internet. The Epson Web site does not say that canvas prints must be framed under glass. If it did say that, there would be no point of having a varnish, which is meant as an alternative to glass.

    "So, all the top coating you can apply will not prevent fading, most likely from a combination of UV light and ozone." Again, that's absolutely false. You haven't researched the topic thoroughly, and have therefore misinterpreted what you did research.

    The Epson site says that Epson Premium Canvas is well protected by Eco Print Shield, and that the Wilhelm Imaging Research site says that Print Shield products have been produced specifically to protect Epson canvasses and papers.

    The Wilhelm site says Epson Premium Canvas Satin varnished with Eco Print Shield is rated for over 100 years, and that Epson Premium Canvas Matte varnished with Eco Print Shield is being tested. I expect that the matte canvas would have a similar rating to satin, because the varnish is the same and the canvas the same; the canvas coating is the only variable.

    I'm using Epson Ultrachrome inks and plan to roll on the finish. I'm now using Epson Premium Canvas Matte.

    The Eco Print Shield Web site recommends two or three coats. I'm using a foam roller. I'm following the procedures of the excellent tutorial video on the Web site.

  31. rmehoves

    rmehoves CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Here is a link to Wilhelm-Research which tests papers, inks and coatings for longevity.
    The range for unframed prints using Epson papers and the newer K3 inksets with this printer (3800) is 34 years to more than 100 years depending on paper type and whether it has been coated.
    They also show framed regular glass, framed with UV glass and with no glass (bare bulb) these are lengths of time without noticeable fading.
  32. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    It has been well established that glass or acrylic would provide much better protection for fragile-surfaced artworks than any applied coating. Aside from the issues of light and mechanical damage, the effects of airborne chemical contaminants (fumes, oils, etc.) is unpredictable, and cleaning accumulated surface soiling is nearly impossible. Glass and acrylic provide excellent protection. Coatings? Not so much.

    If you check the manufacturers' double-speak, I think you will learn that Rob is right. For example, UV-inhibitors generally refer to protecting the coating itself, which may do little or nothing to reduce light damage to the image underneath.

    Permanence predictions must be based on certain light intensity and time of exposure, since those factors determine light damage to all kinds of materials. Direct sunlight, for instance, is thousands of times more intense and damaging than typical incandescent lighting. Do you have information about how direct sunlight exposure would affect your coatings?

    When you find the range of frequencies and the percentage of UV light blocked, then you will have definitive information about protection. Spectral curves are readily available for glass and acrylic. Do you have spectral curves for the coatings you use? If so, please share that information, because I've not seen them.
  33. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Robert- I have no intention of getting into a pissing match with you- and I find your hostility a bit unwarranted. I am on YOUR side and I applaud your desire to do what is right. I think you have been given some BAD advice, both from a practical and professional perspective. But that's what the grumble is all about. You have to sort through opinions to determine what is backed with fact.

    Both Chris Pashke and I are industry educators who have spent hours researching not only the materials that are available and the effects from the various framing materials, but are also "real" framers with many years of experience (this is my 38th year as a framer). I write for both DECOR Magazine and Picture Framing Magazine and I teach industry related classes across the United States and Canada for both magazines, the PPFA, and major manufacturers.

    I spend hours researching, reading, and continuing my education in addition to having close ties to many major manufacturers of the materials that have been discussed in these forums. And I believe I have been vetted by my peers, editors and publishers of both magazines, and the PPFA and PFM who have hired me to teach for them for many years. In addition, I own and run a very large art and framing company and probably sell, frame, and install more digital output than many on this forum.

    I do not post without confidence that my research and experience back up what I am saying and I take umbrage with your accusation that I do not know what I am talking about.

    As a framer, I have been blamed for many things that have "happened" to artwork after it was framed that were directly the responsibility of the artist or printer who created the work in the first place. And I have been compelled to successfully defend myself in court over false accusations.

    This is especially even more true now that everyone that has a printer is an "expert." And with all due respect, in my opinion, many artists are frugal (and even some framers) will cut corners to save money, even at the expense of the longevity of the art.

    You also must understand that whether printed on paper or canvas, either type of output is described by Epson as a "print."

    If you go to the Epson site to this page- ( http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/ProductMediaSpec.jsp?infoType=Overview&oid=-13961) which is a link to Premium Canvas Matte, here is the info from the bottom of the page - OF PREMIUM CANVAS MATTE.

    "NOTE: Actual print stability and longevity will vary according to image, display conditions, light intensity, humidity, atmospheric conditions, inks, and post-printing treatments.

    Epson does not guarantee stability or longevity. For maximum print life, display all prints under glass or lamination or properly store them.

    Required Overcoating: As with any Fine Art Canvas designed for indoor only usage, this product must be overcoated with a protective spray or liquid laminate. Do not display in damp or humid conditions unless thoroughly coated, front and back, with a high quality solvent based liquid or spray overcoating.

    Overcoating will change print characteristics which may include color, gamut, gloss levels, and other visual characteristics. Overcoating may also accelerate yellowing. Profile this canvas after overcoating for accurate color reproduction."

    So, if you read between the lines, Epson is telling us that for maximum protection, "prints" should be behind glass. Why would they have that paragraph before the one on overcoating? Because, when the print fades, they can claim that they said it should have been behind glass. And they even state that overcoating may accelerate yellowing - so if the canvas yellows, who is to blame?

    As a framer, and an educator, I feel an obligation to make framers (and artists) aware of the protocol and responsibility for the production of artwork. The debate as to whether or not a framer should top coat giclees has been waged in this forum many times.

    Even Epson states that "overcoating will change print characteristics" and that the prints should be profiled AFTER overcoating to insure accurate color. So it is by means of this forum, and to my fellow framers, that I question your (and any artist's) representation of "Archival" because if a canvas was brought in for framing that was not top coated:

    1. I would not top coat it for the risk of changing the characteristics of what was brought to me - even if I know that top coating will protect the print.

    2. I do not believe that top coating provides enough long term protection to warrant calling the print/art/framing mounting process as you described, "archival." That is a slippery slope and another framer on this board also questioned the terminology.

    Have you run test prints and adjusted your profile to correct for color changes due to the top coating?

    You will also find that there is much controversy within the industry regarding Wilhelm Imaging Research, and there is also conflicting information between what the manufacturer, Epson, and Wilhelm Imaging Research say about the same product. This is a constant "real world" debate and much can be learned from the trade show floor at the PMA show and educational conference.

    Again, from Epson's website regarding Epson Premium Canvas Satin (here is the link to the page: http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/...pe=Overview&oid=-11182&category=Paper+&+Media)

    "Since all dyes, pigments and paper change over time, Epson does not warrant this product against color changes and fading."

    This is from the manufacturer's own website for the product you specifically mentioned. So, if the manufacturer will not provide a warranty, how can you (or any of us)? Despite what Wilhelm Imaging Research says, the manufacturer "does not warrant this product against color changes and fading."

    There are two situations here:

    1. Your use of the word "archival" (which in framing terms is dangerous and if you do a search you will find many threads discussing this)- as it applies to your output, and framing methods. (Even the discussions regarding putting a frame around your mounted pieces said nothing about lining the rabbets with volara which is compulsory for protection of your art should whoever purchases your work want to get the frame off of your art without damage from the rabbet adhering itself to your multi-layer top coat).

    2. The whole concept of an "artist" producing "art" through modern electronic means that "looks" like something it is not. Output on canvas has been a difficult process for even the most experienced framers to handle (mount vs stretch? topcoat vs not issues with cracking and fading).

    3. If I were making my living producing art, especially 5 feet long, I would NEVER even consider using a paper surfaced foam-core type product (archival or not) because I promise you that in handling, storage, display and shipping, your art will have edge or surface damage because foam-core type products are not appropriate.

    4. The fact the you even mention using a "floater" type frame with something mounted to a foam-core board indicates naivete when it comes to proper framing technique and design. This is BAD design.

    I am pleased that fellow educator, Jim Miller has also posted and you would be wise to consider his advice as well. Jim actually advocates the glazing of oil and acrylic paintings (for MAXIMUM protection) and, while not as aesthetically pleasing is the only way to protect the surface from mechanical damage.

    Look- I agree that it is not always practical to cover everything with glass. And, it may not be the best "look" for what you are trying to produce. With that in mind, I am pleased to see that you want to do the best you can do to protect your art and I hope that you will make some test prints, coat them as suggested, and adjust your profiles to compensate for whatever changes the coating cause.

    I also hope you will not mount your prints to a paper surfaced foam-core board.
    The best substrate would be 8 ply rag (or in my personal opinion, if you must mount them, 4 ply rag mounted to 3/16" natural gator. )

    Most importantly, I would avoid using the term archival in any description of output or framing that you have done as it is an inaccurate term.

    I could not find a WIR reference to the paper/topcoat/printer/inkset combination you are referencing. The link in a prior post does not reference that canvas, but Premier's canvas. Can you please provide the link to the specific page?
  34. osgood

    osgood SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Next January there is a convention in Las Vegas - WCAF, and the PPFA convention in February in Anaheim.

    There are some great classes and a wealth of information at both conventions. Jim Miller & Rob Markoff and many others will be teaching classes, so I would like to encourage you to go to one or both if you are able.

    I can only make it to Anaheim this year and it will be so worthwhile!
  35. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

    Thanks, but that's the wrong document.

    It's the wrong printer; I'm using an Epson 7600 – not the 3800.

    It's the wrong inkset; I'm using the Ultrachrome regular (not K3).

    The document shows the wrong paper; I'm using Epson Premium Matte canvas, which isn't listed.

    And it's the wrong varnish; I'm planning to use Eco Print shield (roll-on), which also isn't listed.

    Unfortunately, the design of the Wilhelm Web site is terrible. It's very hard to find the right information. For example, the internal site search link doesn't work; both the site search engine and the "www" search engine both lead to Google.

    They've crammed all their reports on the front page of the site and there's no index or table of contents.

    And there's no email link on contact form on the site, because they know they'd be bombarded with emails if people could contact them.

  36. rmehoves

    rmehoves CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I know the items in the Wilhelm link were not specifically yours but the link was to provide info as to how much difference in time was provided by using glass, plain paper/canvas and paper/canvas with a coating.
    The K3 inksets are also supposed to be better than the originals.
  37. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

    That's not universally true. For example, one can apply Golden Artist Colors' Soft Gel gloss with water as an isolation coat (http://www.goldenpaints.com/justpaint/jp14article3.php) followed by a Golden UVLS removable varnish. (http://www.goldenpaints.com/products/varnish/index.php)

    That pages says, "GOLDEN Varnishes offer several advantages to artists concerned about the longevity of their artwork. First, they are removable. Problems such as smoke damage, handling blemishes and dust or dirt accumulation on the surface of the painting can be removed along with the varnish. Second, GOLDEN Varnishes offer protection from UltraViolet (UV) rays generated from the sun. Third, varnishing consolidates the artwork with an even sheen. Gloss Varnishes can intensify colors while Matte or Satin Varnishes soften the color and minimize glare."

    Also, the Wilhelm PDF I quoted from below implies that an isolation coat isn't needed; that the Premier Art coating provides sufficient protection against dirt and fumes.

    In other words, you're saying that UV inhibitors don't work. What evidence can you provide of that?

    I don't rely solely on the claims by the manufacturers like Epson, which have a vested interest.

    I rely more on data provided by Wilhelm Imaging Institute, an independent research company, which has become the world's standard provider of scientific test info re. inkjet longevity. The institute describes in it's documents which UV inhibitors work, and in which circumstances. It says that the canvas I'm using in conjunction with Eco Print Shield should last for over 100 years (at least the satin-coated canvas should).

    So why should I believe you and not the scientists who work for the institute? Are you a scientist? Even if you were a scientist I wouldn't believe you on this issue, because you're not the world's premier inkjet lightfastness independent research lab.

    The tests done at Wilhelm are supposed to take into account typical lighting conditions, but obviously not direct sunlight, because no paintings or prints or photos are supposed to be exposed to direct sunlight. So I don't need information about how direct sunlight affects my work; it's not relevant.

    I'm not a scientist, so I don't know anything about spectral curves.

    But I do know that I go to Google and search for "http://www.google.com/custom?q=Premier+Imaging+Products+and+Wilhelm+Imaging&btnG=Search&cof=GL%3A0%3BT%3A%23000000%3BLC%3A%230000FF%3BVLC%3A%23FF3300%3B&domains=www.wilhelm-research.com&sitesearch=" , the first link that appears in the results page is a relevant PDF that you can download and read.

    That PDF (which is from the Wilhelm site) says:

    Premier Imaging Products and Wilhelm Imaging Research Announce
    Comprehensive Testing of PremierArt Generations Fine Art Papers and Canvas

    PremierArtTM Generations fine art paper and canvas in combination with PremierArt
    protective coatings are currently being tested with ALL major fine art inkjet printer platforms.

    PMA, Las Vegas – March 3, 2009
    For Immediate Release

    Premier Imaging Products and the Wilhelm Imaging Research (WIR), the world’s leading independent print
    permanence testing laboratory, have jointly announced that the new PremierArt Generations family of fine art
    papers and canvas are currently being tested with all three major pigmented ink systems; Epson UltraChrome K3
    Inks With Vivid Magenta, Canon LUCIA Pigment Inks, and HP Vivera Pigment Inks With Chromatic Red.

    In addition, WIR is testing all of the media and ink combinations with the PremierArt line of protective coatings,
    Print Shield and Eco Print Shield.

    The Premier Imaging Products line of protective coatings has been engineered specifically for the inkjet media,
    and offers a complete solution of matched media and environmentally friendly print coatings. Premier was the
    FIRST company in the industry to offer a fully-tested combination of inkjet media and protective coatings and
    today is the ONLY company to provide WIR test data for its fine art media WITH its protective coating products

    Research at WIR has shown that many commercially available coatings have unfavorable reactions with inkjet
    media that results in yellowish staining and other discoloration both when exposed to light on display and when
    prints are stored in the dark. Each ink, paper or canvas, and protective coating combination reacts differently
    and it is essential that they be evaluated with all five of the print permanence tests employed by WIR: 1) light
    stability on display; 2) stability in dark storage; 3) resistance to atmospheric ozone; 4) resistance to high-humidity
    environments, and; 5) water resistance.

    All prints that are displayed without being framed under glass or acrylic should be coated to protect delicate print
    surfaces from discoloration and physical damage caused by contaminants in the air such as cooking fumes,
    cigarette smoke, insect residues, and surface physical damage, as well as the damaging effects of UV light that
    may be present.

    Because canvas prints are normally displayed without framing under glazing, it is especially important that
    canvas prints be coated to protect them from harm on long-term display. WIR’s comprehensive test data allows
    photographers and printmakers to select the most stable paper/ink/coating combination for their needs and will
    allow them to sell their images with complete confidence that their images will last for generations.

    There are currently no ANSI or ISO standards for testing the permanence of digitally printed photographs and
    fine art reproductions, and WIR’s comprehensive test methods have become the de facto standard in the
    industry and have been adopted by Epson, Hewlett-Packard, Canon, and many other companies.

    Information on Premier’s Generations line of products can be found at www.premierart.info/Generations

    About Premier Imaging Products: Premier Imaging Products is a leader in providing digital media and finishing
    solutions for the inkjet printing industry, and is committed to developing enhanced-permanence products for the
    fine art digital printing world."

  38. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

    Thanks for the suggestion. I can't afford to go though; business is terrible. People aren't buying much art these days, so money is very tight.

  39. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    May I ask a couple of questions about the art in the photos? Were they ordered printed on canvas with a coating applied by the printer? If so, do you know what the coating is? Or did you coat them after stretching? Does the client get any sort of warranty with regard to fading over a specified period of time?

    I sent you a PM with a couple more questions.
  40. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Hi Kirstie-

    We work with an outstanding printer who is able to take files (in this case from the client - that were very small and produce large images that are not pixilated.) We produced many others for this job that were not gallery wrapped but matted and framed (under glass.) This particular printer does large scale advertising graphics and we have worked together on many large scale projects.

    I do not know the specific top coat that was applied, but I know it was done.

    The art was represented as "functional wall decor" and not "fine art" and there was no discussion as to longevity, though should the pieces fade in a short period of time, I would certainly replace them and I am sure the printer would replace them for me as well.

    Attached Files:

  41. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    Wow! Those are some whales! Great photos of both of you, BTW. I wonder what program the printer is using for the enlargements. The size of these is impressive.
  42. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    The whales were the signature piece for all of San Diego National Bank's branches. We did many of them, each scaled to fit exactly on the wall specified. Wyland painted the original on the side of one of their branches downtown and the canvas output is from a photo of the mural.

    The piece in the picture is so long that two lengths of moulding had to be spliced to make each long side.

    Unfortunately, SDNB failed last week, was taken over by the FDIC and is now owned by US Bank. So, some sign company and a bunch of printers are going to make a lot of money rebadging the branches as US banks. Not sure what will become of the whales. It was a great account...........
  43. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

    Hi, Rob. I'm sorry to anger you. I appreciate the fact that you and others are taking the time to help. It's natural that we get upset when we think that people who are wrong challenge us. We're only human. I got upset, too, when I read your letter, because I, too, think I'm right. I don't want to argue with anger. However, I'm interested in debating with civility, with the aim of getting to the truth. That's what I came here for: to learn and solve some problems, and I'm willing to admit when I'm wrong if people can prove it. But so far you and Jim haven't convinced me. (See the response I wrote to Jim's message, in which I referred to the Golden Web site and the Wilhelm PDF about Premier Art Imaging Products.)

    It makes sense that Epson writes disclaimers on its print media; it's an easy way to discourage lawsuits, and an easy way to win suits if it is sued. The Wilhelm site even admits that there are still no ISO or ANSI standards, so the claims of longevity are estimates that are made according to the best science available today. As technology improves, I'm sure the testing accuracy will improve, but until then, the current Wilhelm standards are the best we have, I think.

    The information on the Epson Web sites is contradictory. The following page:


    says: "Although this canvas is water resistant, it is recommended to apply a protective overcoat if not displayed behind glass."

    And, "PremierArt Print Shield and Eco Print Shield are especially designed for protecting ink jet prints on this media. It will also provide increased lightfastness. See wilhelm-research.com for details."

    And this, "Do not display in damp or humid conditions unless thoroughly coated, front and back, with a high quality solvent based liquid or spray overcoating."

    This is contradictory because the site says to frame under glass, but also recommends the Premier Art coatings, which are meant to replace glass.

    It's also contradictory because it recommends a "quality solvent-based coating"; the Premier Art coatings are water-based – not solvent-based.

    Epson is notorious for it's poor customer service and it's Web sites. It provides ICC profiles, but they're out-of-date. (They won't open on a Mac without using a special program.) I've emailed the company more than once to complain about the Web site. I didn't get any response. You can't get tech support without paying for it. I'm left with the impression that the company doesn't care about it's customers.

    So we mustn't rely solely on what the Epson Web sites tell us.

    I don't need to change my images to adjust for coating. I'm satisfied with the colors after coating.

    That's not true. For example, the Golden Artist Colors has various, specialized products to protect paintings. (It recommends a permanent isolation coat, followed by a removable varnish). (See http://www.goldenpaints.com/) The Golden people are among the ultimate experts when it comes to preservation of paintings.

    "Look- I agree that it is not always practical to cover everything with glass. And, it may not be the best "look" for what you are trying to produce."

    Your stance contradicts what Wilhelm Imaging and Golden Artist Colors say. The main advantage of canvas giclees over paper giclees is that they don't need glass – as long as they're varnished properly.

    "Most importantly, I would avoid using the term archival in any description of output or framing that you have done as it is an inaccurate term."

    That's wrong. It's generally agreed that giclees that last for sixty years or more (two generations or so) fit the description of archival. The paper giclees I've printed and sold so far are rated by Wilhelm at about 60 to 82 years, depending on the paper I used.

    If the prints last for at least 60 years under proper lighting conditions, I won't complain. I'll be dead in 60 years, and so will most of the people who buy my art. I'm not in the same league as Ansel Adams or Andy Warhola, so chances are my art won't be in great demand more than 60 years from now. So I'm not going to get too fussy about my art not lasting more than 60 years.

    Also, several years ago, I read an article in Decor magazine. It referred to a study that found that at the end of a 40-year period, only one percent of the art that had been hung at the beginning off that period was still hanging. That implies that after 60 years, maybe half of one percent of my art would likely to still be hanging. I'm not going to worry about that fraction of one percent. I'm running a business here – not a museum, so I have to have a balance between conservation and practicality.

    "I could not find a WIR reference to the paper/topcoat/printer/inkset combination you are referencing. The link in a prior post does not reference that canvas, but Premier's canvas. Can you please provide the link to the specific page?"

    The closest info I can find now is for the Epson 9880 – two generations up from my 7600. (http://www.wilhelm-research.com/epson/9880.html). It rates Epson Premium Canvas Satin with Eco Print Shiled at over 100 years, whether it's under glass, under UV glass, or not under glass.

  44. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

  45. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

    Thanks for the advice, Rob. I'll look into eight-ply rag at the art supply store where I shop.

    What about the chemicals in Gatorboard? Someone here pointed out that I'm right to want to avoid Gator.

    Robert :kaffeetrinker_2:
  46. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God


    You picked the wrong forum to raise the "archival" banner-

    The concept of "archivally mounting" something is somewhat of an oxymoron and troubles many in this forum because it is a contradiction of terms. You started your post looking for an archival mounting solution. My point is that you have other things to worry about because in my experience, your art will show signs of environmental effects long before it is "damaged" by any mounting process recommended.

    You can believe anything you want to read from manufacturers of the products you use but you will not get an experienced group of framers to accept your definition of archival or accept the term "archival mounting."

    Others have suggested that you avoid gator because you raised the "archival" banner. But, it is NOT going under glass, so outgassing is not a factor. In fact, based on your acceptance that your art will not last forever, as a business person, I would even forgo the lining of the gator with rag and just use a good quality high solids PVA adhesive like Miracle Muck or Frank's Fabric Adhesive on 3/16" natual gator. I think you will be very happy with the results. You can even buy it in 60" widths which would be much more economical for your yield.

    You must understand that there is a line in the sand drawn between the practical application of proper conservation/preservation and what many do in the real world. You have crossed that line but at least are realistic when it comes to the potential longevity of your work and the fact that you are trying to produce something to sell as a business person.

    I have seen the effects of third party products first hand. Many framers use UV filtering glass or acrylic and have also seen items framed with them fade and then question why the product "did not work". I have seen color shift in items that were stored in "archival" sleeves in the dark. And I have seen the damage that can occur to giclees that were improperly framed because corners were cut. Most recently was an Arvid "canvas" that glued itself into the rabbet of the frame and the surface coating tore off in an irregular pattern when the painting was removed from a frame for reframing.

    So suit yourself- you have been given advice by people who many would consider the best our industry has to offer, backed by real-world experience (not manufacturer's hype.)

    I do not shy away from new media, techniques or processes. But as a business person as well, I have been frustrated with the "learning curve" in handling output on canvas as it is prone to sagging after stretching, bare spots from corners rubbing (even with careful handling), surface cracking when pulled over stretcher bar beads that are too sharp, and premature image fading, even when allegedly "coated" by the artist or printer.

    What you are producing and any mounting technique you would use is certainly not "archival" in the world of picture framing. I would caution you and others not to make representations that may come back to haunt you.
  47. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    You misunderstood. In a coating, a UV inhibitor is generally intended to make the coating more resistant to light damage, and it does work for that purpose. However, there is no assurance that the additive would protect the underlying image.

    If you want evidence that glass and acrylic with UV filters are superior to coatings, in protecting images from light damage, consider the overwhelming empirical evidence: coatings are not generally expected to protect watercolors, traditional photos, or documents. If coatings are protective, then why not use them for everything that can be coated?

    Yes, it is relevent. All light damage is determned by the intensity of the light and the time of exposure. There are no absolutes in that sort of damage, or in protection against it.

    If your digital image were exposed to typical residential levels of incandescent light, often the benchmark for permanence testing, it might last 100 years. But what if the image is displayed in an office with bright fluorescent lighting, where UV exposure is 5-times longer and 100-times more intense? Or, what if that image were displayed by the artist at several outdoor arts festivals, where it might be exposed to direct sunlight for a few hours each day, which may be thousands of times more harmful? In that case light damage would occur, no matter what. Even the best UV filtering glass or acrylic could not protect an image in that circumstance.

    The point is that light damage is not an all-or-nothing detriment; it is a matter if degree. It is also cumulative and irreversible.

    I'm not a scientist, either, but I can assure you that light spectral curves are essential in understanding light damage. Perhaps you should seek more information about the matters affecting your decision.

    Finally, you have ignored the fact that in "archival" framing, light is only one issue. Using glass or acrylic provides mechanical and thermal protections that a coating could not match.
  48. Robert Montgomery

    Robert Montgomery In Corner

    Hi, Jim. Giclees – especially on canvas – are especially susceptible to fading and scuffing. I don't know what's generally recommended for the coating of watercolors. Photos are more lightfast than giclees because it's a different process, using different chemicals, but the purists coat photos, too.

    I'm still not convinced. You're still implying that the world's top image permanence testing lab is wrong, without hard evidence.

    If you look at the Wilhelm data, there's often not much difference between the glass versus no glass plus varnish scenarios. In fact, for the combination I've outlined, using Epson Premium Canvas Matte, the data over says 150 years for glass, UV glass AND no glass plus varnish, so there's ZERO difference in permanence rating for some comparisons.

    High exposure to light will affect the canvas with glass the same way as canvas with varnish.

    I've sought understanding many times by looking at the Wilhelm reports, and other sources, and I've accepted them.

    (Permanence ratings of my art is only one of many aspects of running an art business, so I can's afford to delve into it to the degree that full-time scientist would.)

    You and Rob are questioning the established data, which is used as a standard by the majority of the inkjet industry (such as Epson, Canon and HP) but I'm still wondering where's your evidence to prove wrong the mainstream majority on this issue?

    As I pointed out before, if you look at the information on Web sites of Breathing Color, Wilhelm and Golden Artist Colors, those organizations disagree with you, and it's written plainly on those sites. They claim that their touted products and procedures provide all the permanence required to achieve archival status of both paper and canvas giclees, spectral curves notwithstanding. And they back up their claims because they have science teams and r. and d. departments. And the science teams at Epson, Canon, and HP call ascribe to the Wilhelm claims.

    So I've got to weigh this issue realistically: should I believe the science departments of the world's leading mainstream inkjet industry, or two professional picture framers (who don't have scientific data to back up their claims)?

    This reminds me of the global warming debate; there will always be skeptics on every topic you can think of – no matter how strong the evidence is to support a particular theory.

    Another point here; if I'm wrong, then the hundreds of thousands – or millions – of other artists, photographers, printers – plus the scientists – will be wrong, so I'll have lots of company.

  49. CAframer

    CAframer SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    After all the rhetoric, I'm intrigued ... how have you decided to handle these prints on canvas?
  50. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God


    What you fail to accept is that within the framing community, the word "archival" has little or no meaning. It is now a marketing tool or buzz word. Use it, believe it as you will but you will find few if any framers who will embrace the word as having any significant meaning in the framing world.

    What you also fail to accept is despite all of the "scientific proof" that you are citing, we in the real world have seen the actual effects of light (and other environmental causes) on art that were "protected" by techniques that have all of the scientific data you can muster, even UV filerting glass and acrylic.

    The reality is that NOTHING you can put on a piece of art (even UV Filtering Glass or acrylic) will prevent fading and once a piece of art is produced by any means, there will be environmental effects that will change the finished look. And, as a result, the term "archival" is meaningless.

    Epson (and other ink/printer/paper manufacturers) knows this. That is why they make the disclaimers that they do - because they know things will change and do not want to be responsible for them.

    You can be satisfied that you have done your due dilligence and will produce your artwork to the highest standards you could find, while still being able to sell it at a price point that people will pay - and you have the realistic knowledge that it may not last forever, or that people might not even want to display it forever.

    Nonetheless, I stand by my years of experience that tell me that despite what "experts" and manufacturers state, the exact display conditions your art may be subject to will be different than the controlled testing in their environment and as a result, you can expect that the image you produce will not stay the same as the first day it was produced.
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