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Author Topic: Gallery Wraps  (Read 2402 times)
Mike Sellers
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« on: July 15, 2013, 03:46:18 PM »
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How should the back of a gallery wrap be finished? Should it be left open or sealed somehow?
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Jason DiMichele
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2013, 06:14:52 PM »
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Hi Mike,

Totally up to you, really. I personally leave it open unless I'm providing a sound dampened canvas for a client in which I have to add the appropriate sound dampening material and then I upholster the back. I've rarely seen anyone close off the back of the canvas. It may actually affect the canvas if not done properly as air flow will be limited thus potentially increasing the likelihood of mould, fungus, etc depending on the environmental conditions.

Cheers!

Cheers!
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Jason DiMichele
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hugowolf
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2013, 07:30:55 PM »
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I've rarely seen anyone close off the back of the canvas.

There are lots of online vendors that use backing cloth, usually black Tyvek. MPixPro, being one example.

Brian A
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Jason DiMichele
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2013, 10:57:58 PM »
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There are lots of online vendors that use backing cloth, usually black Tyvek. MPixPro, being one example.

Brian A

Hey Brian,

Doesn't mean I've seen anyone in my area use them. Smiley

And it seems interesting that they would use Tyvek, being a water resistant material. I assume that would keep moisture trapped inside as moisture wouldn't be able to escape. Perhaps moisture wouldn't get in either, I don't know.

Another reason I leave the back of the canvas open most of the time is because it allows my clients to see the high quality, beautifully crafted wood stretcher bars and they can appreciate the quality of the product from the print to the keyed stretchers.
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Jason DiMichele
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jferrari
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2013, 11:40:21 PM »
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How should the back of a gallery wrap be finished? Should it be left open or sealed somehow?
You answered your own question! Is a cake finished if you don't frost it? Reach your hand under your couch. What do you feel? A dust cover! It's there for a reason just like it is on the back of any truly finished gallery wrap. They make a special black Tyvek backing material just for this purpose. The Tyvek product is designed to pass water vapor but not let liquid go through it. This allows for the natural equalization of humidity inside the wrap cavity and the surrounding atmosphere. You can easily install it with ATG tape. If you want to impress your clients/customers - finish your wraps!
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framah
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2013, 01:45:33 PM »
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Another big reason for backing any stretched canvas piece is to keep things from being pushed into the canvas from behind.
Backers are also attached to keep dust and bugs from collecting in between the stretcher and the canvas. THAT is what will make the canvas rot quicker then any humid weather alone could.
As canvas does not have lungs, it doesn't need to "breathe".  Paper, foam core tyvek all will help but foam core or even a piece of mat board will keep the canvas from being pushed.

I love his from Hugowolf:
Another reason I leave the back of the canvas open most of the time is because it allows my clients to see the high quality, beautifully crafted wood stretcher bars and they can appreciate the quality of the product from the print to the keyed stretchers.

Seriously?? The high quality, beautifully crafted wood stretcher bars?? 

That's Hilarious!!! ROTFLMAO!!  SSOMK!! APMP!!   WTFME!! CSFMK!! 
(rolling on the floor laughing my ass off)
(spit soda onto my keyboard)
(almost peed my pants)
(wiping tears from my eyes)
(cleaning soda from my keyboard)
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Colorwave
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2013, 02:27:37 PM »
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@framah  While breathing might be a bit of a misnomer in the literal sense of the word, environmental equalization is a desirable quality.  For a while, I was using kraft paper as a backing on my client's canvases, and I found that it created some issues.  I'm in Hawaii, and many of the galleries here are waterfront, with both air conditioning and sometimes extended periods of open air exposure to ambient conditions.  This creates radical gradients in humidity (+/- 30%), and to a slightly lesser degree, temperature (most of the time +/- 15).  The captured space inside a sealed gallery wrap always lags the environment outside it, causing an imbalance.  I found that this caused issues with canvas tension that varied significantly;  issues that went away when I left the backs open.  I also found that backing the canvas tended to encourage mold behind the canvas, whereas unimpeded airflow did not.  As a result, I'm going commando on the back now, and focusing on just making them as clean and professional as possible for the "eye wash" involved when the client looks behind them.  

You ridiculed Jason (misattributed as Hugowolf) for touting the look of his quality stretcher bars, but I think a significant part of the intangibles involved in the art buying process is the appearance of the back side.  A beautifully finished back is never going to sell anything, as the front is still where the focus is.  Subconsciously, though, seeing what looks to be high caliber craftsmanship when a piece is pulled off of the wall reinforces a client's perception of their investment being worthwhile, and may make them feel better about having laid out a wad of cash, as well as slightly more inclined to buy another "quality" piece of art later.  A tidy backing is an easy and traditional means of getting there, but not necessarily the best way or only way of pulling that off.

One more point of rebuttal:  In practice, the issue of protecting a canvas from being damaged from behind is quite a limited issue, as a very small portion of a piece's lifetime is spent in transit compared to on display, and there is an equal chance of something poking it from the front as the back.  I find the practice of backing a framed piece with glass or acrylic on the front to be a different animal than an exposed, stretched canvas, because the traditional frame creates an entirely sealed, largely impermeable space, that differs from the gallery wrap scenario, so I am not advocating the abandoning of backings for normal framing.

A caveat:  I've never used black Tyvek, and the fact that is is marketed as being "breathable" (DuPont's term, not mine), may mitigate some of my concerns about environmental gradients.  I would suspect that it would pose no problems in a more traditional environment.  For me, in mine, I would expect it to be less problematic than paper, but still less desirable than unimpeded airflow.  YMMV

« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 02:40:53 PM by Colorwave » Logged

Bullfrog
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2013, 03:11:35 PM »
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I love his from Hugowolf:
Another reason I leave the back of the canvas open most of the time is because it allows my clients to see the high quality, beautifully crafted wood stretcher bars and they can appreciate the quality of the product from the print to the keyed stretchers.

Seriously?? The high quality, beautifully crafted wood stretcher bars??  

That's Hilarious!!! ROTFLMAO!!  SSOMK!! APMP!!   WTFME!! CSFMK!!  
(rolling on the floor laughing my ass off)
(spit soda onto my keyboard)
(almost peed my pants)
(wiping tears from my eyes)
(cleaning soda from my keyboard)


Is this really necessary?

 Huh

Anyway, I'm in Canada which has extreme weather conditions (very very dry and extreme cold to very very humid and hot ) I would be interested to know if people find covering it creates any problems since I would expect as wood and canvas are organic, it has to move (warp) over time.

I agree it does look more professional.  I appreciated the link to the product people recommend.

On the topic of bars, there are many canvases being sold by professionals which are cardboard - or particle wood - not clear pine.  Good bones do make for good canvases, so I do understand where the poster was coming from.  

« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 03:14:57 PM by Bullfrog » Logged
Jason DiMichele
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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2013, 06:22:19 PM »
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@framah  While breathing might be a bit of a misnomer in the literal sense of the word, environmental equalization is a desirable quality.  For a while, I was using kraft paper as a backing on my client's canvases, and I found that it created some issues.  I'm in Hawaii, and many of the galleries here are waterfront, with both air conditioning and sometimes extended periods of open air exposure to ambient conditions.  This creates radical gradients in humidity (+/- 30%), and to a slightly lesser degree, temperature (most of the time +/- 15º).  The captured space inside a sealed gallery wrap always lags the environment outside it, causing an imbalance.  I found that this caused issues with canvas tension that varied significantly;  issues that went away when I left the backs open.  I also found that backing the canvas tended to encourage mold behind the canvas, whereas unimpeded airflow did not.  As a result, I'm going commando on the back now, and focusing on just making them as clean and professional as possible for the "eye wash" involved when the client looks behind them. 

You ridiculed Jason (misattributed as Hugowolf) for touting the look of his quality stretcher bars, but I think a significant part of the intangibles involved in the art buying process is the appearance of the back side.  A beautifully finished back is never going to sell anything, as the front is still where the focus is.  Subconsciously, though, seeing what looks to be high caliber craftsmanship when a piece is pulled off of the wall reinforces a client's perception of their investment being worthwhile, and may make them feel better about having laid out a wad of cash, as well as slightly more inclined to buy another "quality" piece of art later.  A tidy backing is an easy and traditional means of getting there, but not necessarily the best way or only way of pulling that off.

One more point of rebuttal:  In practice, the issue of protecting a canvas from being damaged from behind is quite a limited issue, as a very small portion of a piece's lifetime is spent in transit compared to on display, and there is an equal chance of something poking it from the front as the back.  I find the practice of backing a framed piece with glass or acrylic on the front to be a different animal than an exposed, stretched canvas, because the traditional frame creates an entirely sealed, largely impermeable space, that differs from the gallery wrap scenario, so I am not advocating the abandoning of backings for normal framing.


Colorwave,

Definitely sounds like you have some potentially large humidity shifts. I am using keyed stretchers so that,even though my canvases leave my studio stretched drum tight, I install the keys so that should the canvas stretch at a later time the client can easily re-tighten it. Are you using keyed stretchers? This question may seem a little odd but with being on the waterfront, does the salt in the air have any corrosive properties towards the canvas?

A lot of my clients also notice the weight of the higher quality kiln dried pine stretchers and like you said, although secondary, adds to the substantialness of the piece.

I luckily haven't had any clients so far pierce or poke a canvas so I agree with you completely that it is a non-issue.

Cheers!
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Jason DiMichele
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Jason DiMichele
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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2013, 06:27:29 PM »
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Anyway, I'm in Canada which has extreme weather conditions (very very dry and extreme cold to very very humid and hot ) I would be interested to know if people find covering it creates any problems since I would expect as wood and canvas are organic, it has to move (warp) over time.

I agree it does look more professional.  I appreciated the link to the product people recommend.

On the topic of bars, there are many canvases being sold by professionals which are cardboard - or particle wood - not clear pine.  Good bones do make for good canvases, so I do understand where the poster was coming from. 

Hey Bullfrog,

Which part of Canada are you in? I'm in the Toronto, Ontario region. I'm getting my stretchers from ucsart in Owen Sound. They are kiln dried pine and guaranteed not to warp. In assuming that you stretch your own canvases, where do you get your stretcher bars from?

Cheers!
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Jason DiMichele
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hugowolf
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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2013, 07:15:11 PM »
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For those that are interested, this is what we are talking about:
http://www.materialconcepts.com/products/tyvek/black-tyvek/

I started using it as a replacement for acid free kraft paper when backing frames, and use it sometimes for gallery wraps. I have never seen it used for backing oil or acrylic paintings stretched on canvas.

Also here, which is probably where I buy it from.
http://www.framingsupplies.com/BackingPapersandPlasticBags.htm

Brian A
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Jason DiMichele
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« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2013, 07:34:19 PM »
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For those that are interested, this is what we are talking about:
http://www.materialconcepts.com/products/tyvek/black-tyvek/

I started using it as a replacement for acid free kraft paper when backing frames, and use it sometimes for gallery wraps. I have never seen it used for backing oil or acrylic paintings stretched on canvas.

Also here, which is probably where I buy it from.
http://www.framingsupplies.com/BackingPapersandPlasticBags.htm

Brian A

Thanks Brian. I'm going to take a look!
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Jason DiMichele
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Bullfrog
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2013, 07:12:40 AM »
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Hey Bullfrog,

Which part of Canada are you in? I'm in the Toronto, Ontario region. I'm getting my stretchers from ucsart in Owen Sound. They are kiln dried pine and guaranteed not to warp. In assuming that you stretch your own canvases, where do you get your stretcher bars from?

Cheers!

Hi Jason
I'm in Mississauga.  I buy from the same guy (kiln dried keyed ) and I didn't realize they are guaranteed not to warp.  (duh)

Yes, I stretch my own - but admitting I'm not 100% happy with my results.  Mostly, I expect it is because I finish the canvas with a varnish that (in my opinion) looks exceptional and its (again in my opinion) superior to others out there, (You can put it in direct sunlight and the image will NOT fade)  but it makes the canvas more ridged - and while I've experimented many many many times, its been impossible to get the same sharp corners .

Do you use a machine - or hand stretch?  If you use a machine, I would be interested in paying you to wrap one on my bars - assuming you do that kind of thing.  I truly hate the whole wrapping process - and yet I've become very attached to the varnish (maybe that is my problem).  I use Golden varnish - and the Dmax is simply outstanding - with no vinyl or rubbery look.   And the resistance to fade and environment is exceptional .   Its expensive and painstaking and the curing process is longer (you need to wait about 2 weeks after varnishing before you wrap) but since I use a Canon printer I find it easier than Breathing Colour or the other (forgot name) commercial coating which typically I find works well with Epsom inks.  I stated with that, and it was - awful.

Whether its my skill - or the printer inks - or both, I found it near impossible to get a properly coated image.  And I tried many prints, and spent several hours - which really takes the joy out of printing when you spend that much money and time and the results are terrible.  So I switched to this Golden varnish and admitting it still takes a lot of practice - I am happy with the results.  EXCEPT the wrap on the corner.

BTW, I've hung some in my house for a few years without issue - but would like to exhibit (hopefully next  summer as this is a part time venture) and am concerned about quality outdoors in the heat as these art exhibitions are always in July.  

The other reality is price  - I had considered using kraft paper - and see this other paper is very expensive which adds to my overhead.  It appears to be in the US - which means more cost shipping.  

  
My other option is to abandon wrapping and apply the varnished canvas on board -.

Any suggestions or ideas are appreciated.

I now realize this is probably off topic, please send me a PM.  Thanks
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 04:38:24 PM by Bullfrog » Logged
rgvsdigitalpimp
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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2013, 07:43:13 PM »
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Hey Hugo, for small wraps such as 12x16 and such, do you use saw tooth hangars and wall bumpers?  Or do you use wire hanging material for these as well?  I leave my wraps open on the back and finish it off with acid free framing tape.  I'm interested in starting to use this Tyvek but trying to convince myself it's worth all the extra time and trouble is not really working. 
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2013, 06:43:24 AM »
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What type of 'acid free framing tape' are you using?  I'm looking for some fabric tape that's acid free to  hide the staples on the back.  I typically leave my back uncovered.
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2013, 08:23:12 AM »
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What type of 'acid free framing tape' are you using?  I'm looking for some fabric tape that's acid free to  hide the staples on the back.  I typically leave my back uncovered.

What I use is the Lineco black acid free linen tape. Expensive at $37.50 + shipping for a 1 1/4" x 150 foot roll.
Available in white too.
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hugowolf
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« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2013, 04:36:30 PM »
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Hey Hugo, for small wraps such as 12x16 and such, do you use saw tooth hangars and wall bumpers?  Or do you use wire hanging material for these as well?  I leave my wraps open on the back and finish it off with acid free framing tape.  I'm interested in starting to use this Tyvek but trying to convince myself it's worth all the extra time and trouble is not really working. 
Sorry, I didn't catch this earlier. I use wire mostly. It depends on what clients ask for.

Brian A
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hugowolf
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« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2013, 04:40:00 PM »
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Another big reason for backing any stretched canvas piece is to keep things from being pushed into the canvas from behind.
Backers are also attached to keep dust and bugs from collecting in between the stretcher and the canvas. THAT is what will make the canvas rot quicker then any humid weather alone could.
As canvas does not have lungs, it doesn't need to "breathe".  Paper, foam core tyvek all will help but foam core or even a piece of mat board will keep the canvas from being pushed.

I love his from Hugowolf:
Another reason I leave the back of the canvas open most of the time is because it allows my clients to see the high quality, beautifully crafted wood stretcher bars and they can appreciate the quality of the product from the print to the keyed stretchers.
Hmm, I never said that. In fact quite the opposite, which is why I sometimes use Tyvek backing paper.

Brian A (nom de net: hugowolf)
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therron36
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« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2013, 06:30:40 PM »
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I offer a canvas wrap service as well as selling wraps in my gallery.
I don't cover the back but simply use backing tape to cover the staples and folds. The results looks fine to me and I've had no complaints from customers.
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2013, 11:26:07 PM »
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What kind of 'backing tape' do you use.  That's also my preferred method but having trouble finding the tape. 
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