The Making Of: The Ruiners & The Banana Eater

Monday, February 11, 2008, 9:32 AM

We here at Pressure Printing have a complicated relationship with gicleés.

On the one hand, after a day of hard, fussy labor, with ink stained hands and a pile of 50 or a dozen prints to show for a day's work, we have been known to snidely comment that "gicleé," you know, is really just french for "inkjet."

But on the other hand--holy cow look at all those colors! Look at the total perfection of reproduction! If our hand pulled prints are loving recreations, in which the final product exhibits the best elements from both the artist's original image and the unique, beautiful mark of the labor intensive printing process, gicleés are capable of being crystal clear, perfect reproductions in which the "process" becomes entirely transparent. You are left with only the original immaculately duplicated image.

And so we undertake a gicleé project from time to time. But when we do we know full well how plain their perfection can be, and strive to put into them the same concern for detail, presentation, tactility, surface--the same overall fussyness--which we devote to our handmade prints.

And so it is with our two latest releases, Glenn Barr's "The Ruiners" and Amy Crehore's "The Banana Eater." (click on pictures to enlarge)

"The Ruiners"
• frame size 27 3/4" x 31 1/2" x 2"
• print size 18 1/2" x 22 5/8"
• edition of 50 with 5 printer's proofs, 5 artist's proofs and 1 bon á tirer

"The Banana Eater"
• frame size 30 3/8" x 18 3/8" x 1 1/4"
• print size 23 1/4" x 11 1/4"
• edition of 40 with 4 printers proofs, 4 artist's proofs and 1 bon á tirer

The first thing one must do is generate a pile of prints. This involves getting a perfect digital file to work from, a week or two of color and tonal proofs, and tests of different surfaces to print on--"The Ruiners" ended up on a textured paper, and "The Banana Eater" on a canvas with approximately the same thread count as that of the original painting.

Next comes selecting a moulding and complementary fillet with which to construct a frame. Both of these frames have a bit of character. Our goal is to add a little contextual flavor to the image without jumping out and hogging your attention away from the art.

The prints are then mailed to the artist to be hand signed one by one in paint and shipped back to us...

...and then coated in a few layers of uv-proof varnish, which enriches the colors, makes the prints shine, and, applied by hand with a brush, adds a bit of that hand-made je ne sais quoi we know and love so much. It's hard to capture in photos what this does for the prints, but it really makes them feel like pieces of art and not mere printouts. It gives them a real polish and preciousness.

Then we put all of the pieces together. We do this with all of the little fine touches we can think to add--custom brass hardware, a perforated, signed, numbered, and embossed certificate of authenticity, foil stamped backing paper, the works.

And then it's packed up in specially cut box and foam (like all of our projects) and sent out in the world for you to enjoy.



Anonymous said...

You guys are truly amazing! Fantastic work and great attention to detail. Look forward to seeing more from Barr, Soto, Ryden, C.R. Garcia and Biskup on your website. Thanks.

mella said...

Incredible blog!

angie said...

I just found your blog and am blown away at how detailed and meticulous you are! great work and thanks for sharing your thoughts on the gicleé printing.


Great job! What a joy!
Hope have something printed by you someday.
Fabio Cobiaco