FINE ART METAL (ALUMINUM) INK JET PRINTS
Fine Art metal prints are an innovative way for photographers and artists to make unique prints on ultrathin aluminum plates. The aluminum highlights strong colours of a photograph and gives the image the impression of three dimensions. Artists can scan works in traditional paint, ink or other artist's medium to print on metal for that special look that enhances their work.
You will find fine art metal prints of photographs and visual art in major galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, London, Paris, Santa Fe and San Francisco.
A thin sheet of specially coated anodized aluminum is placed in a high end ink jet printer and the image printed in the same way as it would on inkjet paper or inkjet canvas.
With Kitimat known as the "aluminum city," the introduction of the aluminum print says "northern British Columbia" in a new way, adding to the already unique and ancient use of red and yellow cedar.
Aluminum prints (depending on size) are available in:
Satin Silver: The most common plate for photography and art. The fine grain metal plate allows a highly detailed image where light reflecting off aluminum makes a bright coloured image seem to leap off the surface.
Brushed Silver: A metal plate with a brushed surface that is a little less reflective than the satin silver, the equivalent of rougher art paper. Brushed silver is suitable for photographs or artwork enhanced by texture.
Satin Gold: A fine grain metal plate coated to resemble gold or highly polished brass. The fine grain allows for superb detail in black and white prints or scans of charcoal sketches, black and white washes and desaturated or monochromatic East Asian art work.
Matte Silver: A more subdued surface that can be used for fine detail desaturated or monochromatic work. (Note under some lighting prints on matte siver can appear yellowish)
Satin White: The metal has a white coating which creates a traditional print as if on paper but with a slight metallic sheen with the durabilty and strength of the aluminum plate.
Your photo as a metal print
Have your favourite photograph printed on aluminum. Requires a high quality digital image. For negatives, prints and vintage prints, scanning and restoration fees may apply.
Example: Satin Silver, 8.5x11/A4, unmounted. $55 (plus shipping if applicable) Price includes basic colour correction on an existing high quality digital image.
For other types of aluminum plates and sizes up to 17" x 22" ask for an estimate.
Professional discounts for photographers and artists
Professional and advanced amateur photographers and visual artists who wish their work printed on aluminum and who can supply a print ready digital image, fully colour corrected and ICC profile soft proofed to their satisfaction, will receive a discount from the consumer rate appropriate to the supplied image.
Mounting an aluminum print
Special precautions are necessary to preserve the image. Although the ink dries in about 30 minutes, it is best of let it set for about 24 hours. Then apply several coasts of a crystal acryrlic finish that seals the ink. Gloss can enhance the look of the image on metal, satin or matte still leaves a metalic sheen.
Note: The coating will protect your image from every day "wear and tear." However, even a vigorous coating will not protect the image from scratches caused by mishandling or cases of direct exposure to water.
The plate usually comes with a peel-off adhesive back. Here you have two choices.
One is traditional lamination, where like a paper print, the aluminum print is mounted on a backing such as MDF and then laminated. This should be done by a framing shop that has experience with laminating metal prints.
You can also mount the print on a backing of your choice, either flush with the print, or wider with a border to act as a frame. Materials used for this have included wood, metal and plexiglass. Once you have mounted the print on the backing of your choice, you should add a new coat of spray finish. Stick to one brand and type of spray. Sprays even from the same manufacturer may not be fully compatible.
If you wish to frame the print, one popular way is to use a metal frame that is mounted flush with the print, with no glass or matte. Wooden frames have been used, if compatible with the photo and the aluminum.
Metal prints can also be framed in the traditional manner with glass, especially if you want extra protection from scratches, water or excess humidity. You should consult a framing shop for the best method of framing that will also enhance the metalic nature of your print.
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