Sunday, April 13, 2014

4/11 to 4/13/14 From photo to artwork

      Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday were spent taking photographs and turning them into art.  Since several hundred of you have prints of mine, I thought I would share the process.  The first part of the process is getting the materials together - which includes frames.  For frames, I head up to Palmetto Framing Supply in North Charleston.  This is a wholesale framing material supplier with thousands of types of frames.  Framing material comes in 10 foot long "sticks" which must be cut to the size of the frame desired and then attached together.  

     Jeff runs Palmetto framing, and has helped me with many projects over the years.

     Jeff has automated equipment that cuts the material to size and then joins them together into frames.

    Then off to a wholesale supplier of polymers, where I purchase four foot by eight foot sheets of foam core.

      Frames and backing material secured, its time to get busy.  The printer I use is Mike Dussel who owns Blue Wave Print, and has been a huge blessing over the last five years.  His shop is on Daniel Island off of Clements Ferry.

     Mike has large printers that print acrylic ink.  Acrylic is much harder to work with and it is hard to find  a printer that works with it.  But it is so much more durable than any other ink - it is beyond archive quality.  I have a print that has been laying on my dashboard for five years in direct sun, and it has not faded a bit.

     Mike loads a big roll of canvas, and the photos I have edited are opened in a printing program.  Then the printing starts.  This time I printed about 110 square feet, which takes about three hours to print and another three hours to dry.

     The next step is to spray a protective coating on the prints.  This sets the ink and provides some scratch and dust resistance to the canvas.

     After an adhesive is applied to the sheets of foam core, the prints are affixed and squeegeed on.  Then the boards are run through a pressure roller that tightly affixes them to the foam core.  Then each print is individually cut out again.  This is a tedious process as the cuts need to be exact and the foam core is difficult to cut.

    Then back to the frames.  Turning the frame upside down, the print is inserted in the back.  A specialty tool shoots pins that hold the print in the frame.

     Hardware to hang the photograph is attached.

     And there you have it, a finished framed photograph on canvas.  I framed 21 photos, most of them donated to the neurology clinic that has been helping Les.  The interesting thing is that almost the whole order was done through the barter system - Someone donated a bit of money to me, I printed up some canvas, I traded the canvas for frames, printed more canvas and was able to do a bunch of pictures for very little money.

     I also did fifty prints to use to barter for things on the road.  I have plastic bags and labels that go on them, and trade them for everything from hair-cuts to lodging.

     And then for the best part of the job.  This is Josh, whose 10 year old son James painted these two pictures in his art class.  I photographed them, enlarged them, printed and framed them and Josh was able to get them up on the wall without his son knowing he had done it.  What an inspiration to a child to encourage them to continue to develop their artistic abilities !!

     So, 21 framed photos and 50 prints consumed a solid two and a half days.  I am glad I did it, but I am glad it is behind me.  If you get a chance to stop by the clinic, there are about thirty framed photos on the walls now.  It is neat to be able to see scenes that I photographed and enjoy the memories of bring these things to life.

     Here are a few more that went into the clinic.  The one at the top of the blog - the "Copper Dawn" photo that I took about four years ago?  I finally found a frame that I thought I would try with the photo.  I am still not sure if I like it or not. What do you think?

     So, that is how your framed photos come into being.  I am invited to Magnolia Plantation tomorrow, then back to Georgia and build the momentum for some good stories again.

Happy Monday !!

If you would like to make a contribution to this effort, just click Here.  And to contact me, just click Here.  Thank you for your support !!

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