Monday, February 7, 2011

My new endeavor: A fine art giclee studio in what used to be my guestroom.

So, I'm embarking on a big new endeavor.

I'm going to be printing my own fine art giclées at home. Giclée (pronounced Zhee-clay) is a digital inkjet process using advanced technology to create a lustrous, continuous-tone print that is as good, or usually better, than the quality of traditional lithography or offset printing. They are basically the high-definition prints of the art world. And best of all, you can print them on watercolor paper, giving them a huge benefit when it comes to looking like the real thing.

So I bought new printer with eleven different ink cartridges and a price tag that makes me feel a little faint. It is an Epson Stylus Pro 4900: It is truly state of the art and completely massive. It arrived on a big truck the other day, bigger than the ups or Fedex truck. I bet those guys had never driven down a driveway like mine! (Yes, that photo is my actual driveway.) Delivery people are always shaking their heads a us, so we're used to it.

Continuing on... the box was HUGE!!!! We had tried to prepare ourselves for how large it was going to be, but we did not succeed. Here's my husband, John with the printer still in the box.

Once we got over our astonishment at the size of the box, we opened it up. It was nicely packaged with Styrofoam, but still took up most of the box.

Purchasing this printer has opened up a whole new world to us already, and we haven't even turned it on, yet. To be able to use it to it's capabilities, we have bought a new computer and monitor. We have also been shopping for all sorts of new things like watercolor printing paper, giant ink cartridges, and all sorts of cables and wires for our various new hardware devices.

We also converted our guest room into an office for our printing. We wanted a room that we didn't use for anything else, and where our pets weren't allowed, so that the printer wouldn't be exposed to pet hair or any more dust than necessary. You can see how huge the it is here. We made a nice, sturdy stand for it out of 2 x 4s and 1 x 12s so it wouldn't shake around while it works.

I'll follow up with more articles later, once I fire it up and learn how to use it!

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  1. Nice printer, Laura.....can't wait to see the results in Chantilly!!! Any shows before then??..this is Jean not Randy!

  2. Thanks, Jean!! I can't wait to see, either! :))

  3. Hi Laura, looking forward to seeing how this project comes out. That printer is massive! Just wondering, what about the scanning part? I'm very interested in gliclee printing myself but the service is not yet available where I'm at. So your post on this would be very informative for me.

    And I like your driveway. Very close to nature. You've got natural "ambiance".

    Thanks for tackling this.

  4. Hi Karen! Thank you for your question about scanning. I'm still figuring that part out, to some extent. So far I have been scanning my paintings on my small, but high-resolution, scanner at home when they are small enough, and photographing them when they are too large for the scanner. With this high-resolution printer, I may need to start taking them to a large flatbed scanner in a nearby city, and paying for the scans. The other option is to have them professionally photographed, but I doubt I would have to go that far, as the largest I work in is about 22 x 30 inches.

    I love your comment about the natural "ambiance", too!!! I take that as a huge compliment. :D

    Thank you, Karen.

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  6. I understand the fainting drama. :P This kind of printer really costs higher than most. But you can get the desired printing quality you want, which is obviously a very good perk. I’m sure the project went well with the help of its professional imaging standards coupled with your creativity. How was it, Laura? :]

  7. Sounds exciting! This sure is a start of something new. I just hope that the price of this machine -- that made you feel a little faint -- is worth it. This is a good investment if it's going to be a long-term business, I hope it is. Printers like this are heavy duty, it could last for so many years. How's the quality of print and the maintenance, by the way?

    Albuquerque Image

  8. LeRoy - lvalyou2@gmail.comDecember 13, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    I appreciate the use of print to increase artist income and available of affordable art, ...but... the older methods with dots help identify prints from originals. Is there a way to identify the giclee's from originals? They sound wonderful but I fear resaler's selling giclee's for real art!!


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