GICLEE PRINTING is an extremely high quality process that produces fine art reproductions on PAPER or CANVAS. Since it's invention in the early 90's, millions of dollars have been invested by archival print manufacturers on the ongoing development of this technique. Over the last decade, the technology, media, inks and craftsmanship have advanced immeasurably and the process has taken the fine art industry by storm. Because INKS are sprayed onto the SUPPORT the resolution of GICLEE prints is much higher than traditional printing. Because they can be produced one-at-a-time, they offer the artist the ability to publish very low editions a few at a time, combining state of the art technology with traditional craftsmanship.
We acquired our own press in December 2003. Printed on acid free 60# stock, watercolor paper or canvas, our giclees are the finest quality archival prints that we have ever produced.
FOR NICK MALEY GICLEE PRINTS
Be sure to read the page on general artcare for info on suitable locations for your artwork. Although their light fastness is superior to lithographs and watercolors, giclees on paper should be treated as described on that page in the section "All artwork on paper"
GICLEES ON CANVAS
1. Restretching - Giclees on canvas are intended to be stretched upon a wooden frame, (called a stretcher). The decal edge of the canvas extends around the side of the stretcher and you should be able to see folds where it was previously stretched. These folds can be used to line up the painting with the stretcher bars which can be obtained from ant art supply store. We usually use Fredericks stretcher bars and the size needed is written on the back of most giclees on canvas. Nick uses standard size stretcher bars on giclees that are usually 16" x 18" or 16" x 20" or 18" x 24" or 20" x 24" or 24" x 30".
Do not trim off the extra canvas or mount it on foam core or board. Such actions are liable to seriously de-value the artwork.
Giclees are usually shipped without stretcher bars as we would have to charge far more to ship old bars than it will cost you to buy new ones. Artist's stretchers are specially designed to slot together and can be adjusted to suit varying weather conditions. They come in a variety of standard lengths, are not expensive and are vastly superior to a custom made stretcher. Your framer SHOULD be able to restretch the canvas for you, (print this page and give it to him as a precaution). However, it is not a difficult thing to do yourself if you follow this procedure....
The four corners of the stretcher easily slot together. Tap them into place and square up the frame with a set square. We prefer to fix the canvas using upholstery tacks (aka cut tacks or blued tacks). Staples can be used but are MUCH harder to remove if the artwork needs to be rolled or restretched at a later date.
Temporarily fix the top corners of the canvas to the top stretcher bar and angle the frame until it lines up with the folds in the edge of the canvas. Pull flat, (not excessively tight), and pin the center of the opposite side to the back of the corresponding stretcher bar. Then do the same with the center of the other three sides. Remove the original two temporary fixings that you made. the canvas will remain square just fixed to the center of each bar.
Whilst pull the canvas diagonally towards a corner, grip it about 3 inches from the central tack, pull tight around the stretcher and pin to the back of the bar. Do the same thing towards the other end of the same stretcher bar. The bar should now have 3 central tacks. Rotate the canvas 90 degrees and repeat. Do this continuously, chasing any wrinkles out to the corners. Fold the corners as you would a bed sheet. If the canvas is stretched evenly there will be no wrinkles or buckles. If it is slack use 4 artist's frame wedges to evenly expand the frame. If a canvas is over tight it will twist the stretcher. This can be caused by humidity over time. Stretching a canvas in a mildly slack fashion and then using artist's stretcher wedges to slightly expand the stretcher to fully taut may provide enough adjustment to avoid restretching in humid conditions.
NEVER WET THE BACK OF A GICLEE TO TIGHTEN IT BY SHRINKAGE. THIS MAY PERMANENTLY DAMAGE YOUR ARTWORK.
2. Framing - You may now frame your giclee as you see fit. Because the decal edge is painted you may decide that is decorative enough and choose not to add a frame but framing is usual. The decal edge is somewhat sacrificial and may be damaged over time by the edge of a frame. Edging can be retouched with artist's paint. The safest pigment to use is artist's ACRYLIC paint applied over the varnish. However this just sits on the surface of the giclee and may be fragile. Using artist's OIL pigment may damage the varnish unless a "dry brush" technique is used. Oil paint must then be left 3 months to dry before reframing or it is likely to stick to the frame. The back of a giclees made in late 2003/4 are likely to show a version code. G1, G2, G3, G4, etc. With this code we can advise you how to best proceed.
Works on canvas do not HAVE to be covered with glass but glass will help protect against dirt, scuffing & fading. If you do put a canvas under glass use a spacer to ensure that you leave an air space between the canvas and the glass. This will help avoid sticking. Caution should be taken in conditions where humidity can condense on the inside of the glass.
3. Location - Although a discerning artist will make every effort to use the finest, fade resistant, materials available, original watercolors, pen & inks, limited editions, lithographs, many seriographs, repligraphs, giclees and original prints are not entirely light fast. To be safe, don't put your valuable artwork in direct sunlight as fading can result over time. The period of time that it takes for the artwork to fade is directly proportionate to the length of time you expose it to the sun or other ultraviolet rays. You might want to ask your framer about UV reducing glass and plastics. Do not use a UV reducing sprays applied directly to the surface of valuable works. Our giclees are made using special archival pigmented inks which have the greatest longevity available at time of manufacture.. However you should still protect them by putting them on a wall that sunlight does NOT directly fall upon. In addition keep your giclee away from heat sources and high traffic areas such as doorways where it might be banged or scuffed. Avoid humid areas where water might permeate the canvas, and extremely dry areas which might dry out the canvas or paint and cause splitting. Properly protected, the light fastness of our giclees is estimated to be 100 years under glass.
4. Other Dangers - The main threat is the danger of a canvas being punctured by another object. Basically you must be careful. Be careful not too lean the unprotected surface of the artwork against other items such as a wall, plastic sheeting, other paintings or objects. Do not allow the corner of another painting or frame or other item to rest against the unprotected surface of the artwork.
5. Weather Variations - If the canvas becomes baggy or wrinkled due to dry weather shrinking the stretcher bars, either expand the stretcher with artist's stretcher wedges.
6. Cleaning - You can lightly clean the surface of giclees on canvas using alcohol or water. ONLY wipe the front surface with a clean damp cloth, Do not soak it. Allow it to air dry at room temperature. Do not force dry. Do not dampen with water an already tight canvas. This may cause the stretcher to buckle. If the work becomes twisted and the canvas is over tight because the stretcher has expanded due to damp weather it should be restretched.
Nick Maley repligraphs - Nick's repligraphs were a forerunner of his giclees. They are made up of multiple layers of ink, watercolor, acrylic and varnish. They are not as durable as original works in acrylic and care should be taken to ensure that the surface does not come in contact with any scratchy or abrasive materials or implement.
Island Arts of the YodaGuy
Antigua, West Indies & Sint Maarten, Netherland Antilles