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Historical Reproductions

Archival Prints Created Digitally

By Kim Crowley

Fine art reproductions allow artists and museums to produce high-quality, enduring copies of photographs and paintings. Many printers are capable of creating long-lasting giclee prints, from vendors such as Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Epson. “Advances in printer and ink technology allow for greater tonal range, detail, and colorfastness,” states Ted Peffer, owner, iolabs inc., based in Pawtucket, RI.

Reproduction Studio
iolabs, in business since 2001, provides photographic, fine art, exhibit, and interior decor printing and imaging. The print studio offers an array of archival and dŽcor print material choices, as well as unique finishing and framing services.

Approximately 55 percent of iolabs’ business is fine art and photo reproductions. The company offers full mounting and laminating services, as well as alternative framing and hanging hardware options, including wooden float frames, flush mounted panel boxes, cradle boxes, and French brackets.

iolabs utilizes Epson and HP large format printers, including the HP Designjet 5000 UV, three Epson Stylus Pro 9800 printers, an Epson Stylus Pro 11880, and an Epson Stylus Pro GS6000. The 64-inch Epson Stylus Pro GS6000, installed in July 2009, exceeds the shop’s expectations. The printer provides iolabs with new capabilities in custom interior decor, as well as durable exterior, and more environmentally friendly display options.

The shop uses several fine art substrates, but is particularly satisfied with Hahnemuhle Fine Art and Innova Digital Art papers. “Innova recently introduced a solvent-compatible rag-type paper called Decor Art ES. Increasingly, we print on a variety of wallcovering materials for decor art purposes,” says Peffer.

Historical Reprints
Slater Mill, the first successful water-powered textile factory in the U.S., features original prints by Lewis Hine—one of America’s first documentary photographers. Hine’s photographs highlight the working conditions in factories and mills, which inspired child labor reform across the nation.

The museum sells reproductions of Hine’s sepia-toned prints through event auctions and museum newsletters. “Digitally reproducing the images and printing in small editions allowed the museum to generate an otherwise untapped source of revenue and create educational materials that can be circulated to help promote the historic significance of the mill,” explains Peffer.

Original works are often fragile. “It was essential to handle the Hine prints with extreme care because of their historic value and fragility,” he says.

With many original Hine photographs to choose from, the museum began by reproducing eight images which depict scenes of early RI mill life. High-resolution scans were made of the original photos using a Creo iQsmart scanner.

Archival, 20x24-inch prints were printed using the Epson Stylus Pro 11880 and UltraChrome K3 inks on Hahnemźhle Photo Rag Satin, a 310 gsm paper. The original quantity of prints produced was three of each, with subsequent orders placed as prints continue to sell.

Both iolabs and Slater Mill are pleased with the Hine photo reproductions. “We look forward to continued collaboration on this project,” states Peffer.

Coastal Reproductions
David Witbeck produces whimsical, vibrant oil paintings, many of which are checkered with scenes of the sea, harbor life, and fishermen.

Witbeck sells his one-of-a-kind paintings through galleries. Thanks to digital printing he is also able to sell reproductions to commercial and residential customers. He turns to iolabs to reproduce his work.

A recent project was an edition of ten to 20 of Witbeck’s prints for commercial decor applications. The 20x20- and 24x24-inch prints were printed with the Epson Stylus Pro GS6000 eco-solvent printer on Innova’s Decor Art ES 260 gsm paper and framed with poplar wood panel boxes and no glass.

Witbeck and iolabs are satisfied with the end result. “The prints were reproduced beautifully using Innova’s supplied print profile and are significantly more durable than aqueous prints. This is important because these items were not being framed under glass, but sold as hang-ready panel boxes,” notes Peffer.

Fine Art for All
Fine art reproduction technology creates high-quality prints with longevity. They create revenue for artists and open fine art to more than just the seasoned, high-end collector.

Feb2010, Digital Output

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