Printing the Giclee

The final artwork for the shade or wall hanging is not called a painting or a photograph. It is called a Giclee.  It is a French word meaning “spraying of ink”. The Giclee is sprayed using pigment-based inks on archival papers. The archival papers are all rag canvas with a sticky front surface to set the inks. The inks were developed especially for this highly technical canvas paper. yeu_5597-12-38-18There will be no noticeable fading in our lifetime. The material we use are Epson “Radiant White Water Resistant Canvas” especially developed to use in conjunction with Epson Ultra Chrome ink. These are sprayed using an Epson Stylus Pro 44″ wide plotter.

Printing is probably the third most important step besides modification and the original photograph. The inks come running out of the micro sprayer and develop a resin coating around the pigments as they are in flight threw oxygen to the paper. This encapsulates the inks and allows them to resist years of environmental contact. The web page Image Science and Technology can provide you with more information if you are interested in the history and recent developments of ink jet printing.

Our Epson Stylus Pro 9600 printer can hold up to a 44″ wide canvas. This gives us the capacity to produce fairly large pieces of work. The canvas is much like canvas used for oils. It has the same texture and feel. But what allows me to have brilliant colors when lit is the transparent film I glue onto the reverse of the canvas. The transparency must have a well-matched image duplicating the canvas in the front. So when the inflorescent bulbs in the back are illuminated, the photons go threw the transparent film first and then threw the canvas from the rear. This calls for exact printing standards. This technique is absolutely unique to our workshop. This lamination technique was developed by us over the last few years.

After the Giclee is dried it is sealed with a very special varnish containing water and sun resistant properties. It is applied in a xerographic method. The Giclee is laid down flat on a table and a fine screen mesh is placed over it. The varnish is poured over the screen and spread via a squeegee evenly over the entire surface. The canvas is then hung up and dried. To seal the canvas well, the xerography is done twice. The GiclÃe is dried overnight while exposed to dehumidified air. The varnish coating makes the surface water tolerable for cleaning or dusting. Never is a glass cover used on my wall hangings. Glass reflects light and dulls the colors.

Canvas and Transparency Being Matched and Glued

Click on these links for demonstrations of our techniques

  • Printing the Giclee