rint Articlehttp://www.artbusinessnews.com/ME2/Audiences/Segments/Publications...1 of 62/18/2008 4:52 AM
Harvest Productions' Toujours™printing technology can producegiclée prints on nearly any substrateincluding walls, wood, acrylic andother surfaces.Jennifer Dulin Wiley, Kristin Stefek Brashares and Daniel MullenFine-art giclée printing has come a long way since it became a form of art reproduction more than a decade ago.Thanks to significant advancements in equipment and inks, publishers and printmakers can go the extra mile to assure thefine-art reproduction comes as close as possible to the look and feel of the original piece.Most fine-art publishers and printmakers follow a standard path to creating a giclée: scanning, editing, proofing, printmakingand finishing. But it is the extra steps taken by certain printmakers during the process that makes the difference in the overallquality of the giclée. Each printmaker has its own approach, and the end result depends on a variety of factors.
Technology & The Human Element
In the highly specialized industry of fine-art printing, having talented printmakers has become as important as investing intop-of-the-line equipment.“You can’t just buy a nice machine, push a button and out comes wonderful stuff,” says Alan Blazar, owner ofBlazing Editions,an East Greenwich, R.I.-based digital printmaking studiodedicated to the production of fine, limited-edition giclées. “This is acraft. To make really good prints, you have to have someone who’s astute and good with color.”Blazar describes a quality printmaker as someone who understands what he calls the “feel” of the art. “We teach our personnel that there’s the technical side of printing, and then there’s the ‘feel’ end, andthat’s understanding what the artist is trying to convey,” he says.When interviewing employees, Blazar asks them to point out what’s wrong with aprint without showing them the original first. “If you can’t see it, you can’t make it,”Blazar says. “What matters most is the skill of the craftsman. No matter how manycolors you’re working with, you have to learn artist-speak and convert it to technicalknow-how. The tools of an artist have changed, but know-how has not changed.”The subtleties in art that might slip by a computer are exactly what the printingdepartment of another fine-art giclée printer and publisher,Collectors Editions(Eclipse Workshop), tries to identify before ever touching a piece of machinery inthe company’s 25,000-square-foot production facility. First, the staff consults theartist and asks questions about his or her original art.“We talk to the artist directly and get a feel for how they created the original andthe best way to do the reproduction,” says Tim Dickson, vice president ofproduction for Collectors Editions. “We talk about the importance of the texture onthe canvas and the color palette they use. We get a feel for the overall piece andthe artist and how they work.”Collectors Editions’ printing department, which claims more than 100 years ofcollective experience, has been trained in mixing color by hand and recognizingcolor by eye, Dickson says. The skills are put to use during the color-correctionprocess, in which computers play a major role, but they are not the driving force.
Developments in Fine-Art Printing
Issue Date: ABN February 08, Posted On: 2/13/2008