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Author Topic: What's the largest print you'll mat and frame with glass.  (Read 5695 times)
Mike Guilbault
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« on: January 08, 2013, 10:01:21 PM »
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In other words, is there a size of print that you tell your customers it's better to go to canvas rather than have the print matted and framed?
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bill t.
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2013, 02:41:13 AM »
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Anything with glazing that's over 30 x 40 is an impossible, unbearable PITA.  Heavy.  Big time reflections.  If you want to use plex, you're into 1/4 inch to avoid fun-house reflections, complete with lots of scratches.  Galleries won't want the piece if it's glass, their insurance won't cover it.

Basically, it's canvas for me at all sizes.  My clients love it.  Looks like art.  Canvas participates in the room, whereas glazed paper sort of hides in its little glass sarcophagus.  When I was showing both glazed paper prints and canvas at the same time, people would go first to look at the canvases, which outsold the glazed stuff by some pretty good margin.  And did I say I can put together a framed canvas in fraction of the time needed to make a glazed piece.  And did I say, NO DUST MOTES DISCOVERED BEHIND THE GLASS AFTER SEALING THE FRAME!  Whoopee on that one alone!

But call me seriously biased.  Here, just look at all the problems with glazing in this silly, giant photograph!  It's a wonder anybody would buy anything like that!   Smiley

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Josh-H
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2013, 05:53:56 AM »
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I have sold quite a lot of 44 x 60 prints on rag papers at my exhibitions in the past and just recently started making 60 x 90+ rag paper prints on a new Canon IPF9400.  I had no intention of going to these sizes. But simply put clients want 'big' - its what they ask for. At these sizes they are framed behind UV plexi almost never matted (its hard to get matt board big enough). Instead spacers are used to keep the plexi off the print behind the frame edge. Mounting it is another entire issue as well as these are way too big for t-hinges. Most good framers use japan hinges; but even those over time will result in paper warp. Its all a nightmare in hanging and framing at these sort of sizes so I sell my work unframed only at these sizes and let the client choose their own framer to handle the task.

I dont print canvas. Almost everything I print is Rag paper. To answer the original question though: when it comes to framing under glass; I just no longer use it. Everything is UV plexi. Its easier to handle and much safer.

Edit - Also experimenting with Diasec for 60 x 90 prints. in these sizes its incredibly impressive (and expensive) if you have the wall space
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 05:57:40 AM by Josh-H » Logged

PeterAit
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2013, 07:52:10 AM »
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Remember that acrylic is an attractive alternative for glazing large prints, I use it successfully for mid-size prints (up to 30 x 40 inch frame size) where the weight and breakability of glass would be an issue.
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Peter
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Justan
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2013, 09:04:25 AM »
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My experience is that customers overwhelmingly favor a coated canvas finish without acrylic cover.

My biggest piece finished with acrylic was 24x76 inches. The photo was printed on photo rag Baryta and looks fabulous, but by the time the acrylic was put in place the image lost some of its pop, compared to canvas. This was due to the combination of reflections plus the light drop off that takes place due to the acrylic. The end product would be improved by using reflection resistant glazing (a.k.a. museum grade glass), but not many want to pay the premium. I sure as heck won’t pay it.

As an aside, I’ve all but abandoned working with glass due to the fragile nature. I read some horror stories about artists being sued - and losing the suit - because of injury related to glass breakage.

As another aside, at my last show, I presented a few examples of coated canvas used with traditional double matts and no glazing. They were good sellers and I advised people that as long as the mats will not be touched, and if the works are in a place where there is little risk of receiving physical impact, they will look great for a long time.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 09:06:27 AM by Justan » Logged

KLaban
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2013, 10:10:16 AM »
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The only thing I'll put on canvas is paint.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 10:20:06 AM by KLaban » Logged

Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2013, 11:08:29 AM »
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The only thing I'll put on canvas is paint.
+10.    Wink
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bill t.
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2013, 12:36:34 PM »
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-10.   Grin

I am very fond of the "I'll never print on canvas" meme!  I actively promote that notion to all my competitors.  At the modest levels of the art world where I compete, large canvases kick glazed butt, plain and simple.  Prissy little framed pieces disappear into the background noise, humongous canvases stand out.  And PS there are canvases out there now that can compete with baryta in every way that matters to the art buying public.

And as for reflections in the glazing (aka glass, acrylic, or plex) of large pieces, the problem can be completely solved simply by becoming famous enough, which can overcome deficiencies in framing technique which would doom a lesser artist.  Worth noting that even Andreas does not spend the small fortune required to glaze a large piece with Optima anti-reflection plex, or in his case surface mount to same.

http://transform-mag.com/ps/andreas-gursky-%E2%80%93-architecture#id=5814
http://transform-mag.com/ps/andreas-gursky-%E2%80%93-architecture#id=5816
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KLaban
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2013, 01:17:56 PM »
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Looks like art

Says it all.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 01:20:45 PM by KLaban » Logged

bill t.
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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2013, 01:26:21 PM »
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Says it all.

Yer darned right!  And I hold that thought all the way to the bank.
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2013, 09:51:51 PM »
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I've avoided canvas since I only have the Epson 4900 (for now, the 9900 is on order) and 17" just isn't wide enough, in my opinion for canvas. But with the 9900 on the horizon I'm taking a second look at it but wanted to get some opinions on large paper prints.  I still like the look of paper, especially the Cold Press Natural and have been offering to portrait clients up to 16x24 (printable on the 4900) but wondered how much larger I could effectively go with the 9900 and still mat/frame the result.

I think I may cap it off at 20x30ish and recommend canvas for anything larger. Glass/acrylic won't be too bad (and I'll look closer at Acrylic now - haven't used it yet) and matting will still be reasonable.

AND YES BILL... I completely framed a 24x30 portrait just before Christmas only to find a small eyelash sitting behind the glass on the edge of the mat just below the image.  Had to disassemble the whole bloody thing and redo it from scratch!  That alone may convert me forevermore to canvas!! Wink
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2013, 03:32:56 PM »
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The only thing I'll put on canvas is paint.

And FWIW many of the venues I show in think the same. I have been glazing and matting my photographic prints since 1970 and see no reason to stop. It is still IMO the most elegant way to present a photograph. Back to the Op's question, for me anything above  24x30 gets UV plexi. If it is to be shipped-always plexi no matter what the size.
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Thanks,
Kirk

Kirk Gittings
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PeterAit
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2013, 04:28:31 PM »
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Don't forget the option of printing on paper and mounting on dibond or a similar substrate. You get the wide gamut of paper without the hassle of mats and frames and glass.
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Peter
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2013, 08:59:18 PM »
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And FWIW many of the venues I show in think the same. I have been glazing and matting my photographic prints since 1970 and see no reason to stop. It is still IMO the most elegant way to present a photograph. Back to the Op's question, for me anything above  24x30 gets UV plexi. If it is to be shipped-always plexi no matter what the size.

Funny... I was at my local framer's today to pick up some cut glass and an artist (painter) had a small exhibit there.  Almost all the paintings were framed with a simple double white mat and simple frame, but there was one canvas gallery wrap.  Same sort of style as the other paintings, only on a gallery wrap and it looked totally unfinished compared to the others. 

Kirk.. any recommendations for the brand/type of plexi to use?
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2013, 10:03:35 PM »
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My framer likes:

"Plexiglas® UV-Filter Acrylic - High quality conservation grade framing Plexiglas® with 99% UV filtration. More optically pure (no green tint) and lighter weight than glass. UV filter glazing (glass or acrylic) does cause a slight warming effect due to the minor yellow tint inherent in the filter. Picture frames with UV filtration help protect artwork from fading, yellowing and brittling. Impact resistant making it easy to work with and safe for use in children’s rooms, sports areas, and with irreplaceable artwork. The UV filtration is built into the Plexiglas® acrylic so it will not wear off over time. We recommend Craftics microfiber cloth for safe cleaning without scratching and Brillianize to safely clean your acrylic."
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Thanks,
Kirk

Kirk Gittings
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LIGHT+SPACE+STRUCTURE (blog)
jrsforums
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« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2013, 09:17:36 AM »
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What issues are there with printing on paper and matting, but framing with no glazing?

John
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John
bill t.
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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2013, 11:21:55 AM »
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The glass or acrylic covering is an integral part of using paper mattes, because it keeps the matte pressed flat against the art and its mounting board.  Without the glazing (aka glass or acrylic), a paper matte would soon warp and develop ripples and accumulate an interesting collection of greasy fingerprints, and generally look like a refugee from the thrift store.

However, there is an option that uses liners, which are sort of mattes on steroids.  Here's one of Peter's photos that uses a liner instead of a matte.  The print itself is face-mounted to plex, but the liner is exposed to the room.

Here's a picture of such frame.

And here's a picture of that very frame in cross section, along with some discussion.

Less gonzo-esque treatments are also possible.   Smiley
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PeterAit
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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2013, 11:33:36 AM »
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What issues are there with printing on paper and matting, but framing with no glazing?

John

That's a perfectly good idea, which I have used more than once. No glazing = less cost, less weight, and a clear, unobstructed view of the print. A varnish coating might be a good idea. Downside? I think most potential customers expect framed prints to be glazed.
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Peter
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Alistair
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« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2013, 10:34:12 AM »
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Canvas does certainly seem popular for some markets, I am not personally a fan as the medium does not suit my personal style or the market I target but readily acknowledge that some pieces look tremendous on it. What price point do you sell your canvasses at?
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bill t.
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« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2013, 12:40:26 PM »
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I sell my framed canvases at around 6x cost of production as calculated in a realistic, beady-eyed way that would make any bean-counter proud.  Gives me 5x profit on direct sales, or 2x profit from gallery sales, which is above average for most artists.

The market for large canvases includes the enormous demographic of people with large wall spaces to cover.  The nice thing about those folks is that they can rationalize the purchase of large art from a pragmatic, home-improvement or reception-room-statement point of view.  That market is many, many times larger than the market of people such as collectors and aficiandos who buy art for its own sake.  I have no qualms about that at all.  My clients are thrilled to have the pieces, and I'm thrilled to have an art product that allows me to make a living from photography during recessionary times.
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