This first part of this series discussed the benefits print service providers experience using liquid coatings for protective finishing. Alan S. Maltz, president, Alan S. Maltz Gallery, the official wildlife and fine art photographer of FL, utilizes Daige, Inc. products to safeguard his photographs again abrasions, dirt, discoloration, and scratches.
The Key West, FL gallery employs a ten person staff and makes its home in a 3,400 square feet building with two floors and a 300 square foot printing area. Founded in 2002, the gallery subsequently added canvas prints and liquid coating as a finishing solution in 2003. Maltz chose liquid coating for its ease of application and durability. Presently all canvas prints receive this form of print protection.
The gallery utilizes an Epson Stylus Pro 9800 with Epson’s UltraChrome K3 ink to print Maltz’s vibrant nature themed photographs and a 55-inch Daige EZ Glide for coating application.
“The EZ Glide Coater fits well into our workflow and our limited space, allowing us to coat the large canvases we regularly print. It is easy to use and maintain,” says Maltz.
Print preparation for gallery installation or retail follow similar steps. The gallery maintains a library of original images. A majority of Maltz’s originals are scans of 35 millimeter transparencies made using Hassleblad’s Flextight 848 scanner—formerly from Imacon. To guarantee that the master image matches Maltz’s specifications, it undergoes a series of adjustments and test prints.
When a customer orders a print or the gallery add new images for display, the graphic prints from a PSD file that may also be resized to meet the 300 pixels per inch print requirement. The gallery creates new files to add to their image library when an order requirement cannot be found in the current collection. Image sizes range anywhere from 20x30- up to 40x120-inch prints.
Using the Epson Stylus Pro 9800 printer, ColorByte Software’s ImagePrint establishes placement of the image on the canvas. Once an image is printed it requires several hours of drying before applying Daige Rollaguard liquid coating through the EZ Glide. Images are coated in groups of three of four, kept small so that large canvas orders have plenty of room to dry. After a batch is finished the EZ Glide coater is drained and washed, ready for the next group of prints to come through.
After coating, canvas is rolled and stored until the gallery’s framing and shopping department is ready to dispatch them. Some customers may purchase only the canvas, but a good amount of customers make use of the gallery’s in-house framing services—ordering stretched, gallery wrapped, or framed prints. Photos are then placed on display in the gallery or packaged and shipped to customers.
The Topcoat Choice
Maltz is one of many artists, retailers, and printers who defer to liquid coating as a finishing solution. Without compromising an image’s integrity, this tough topcoat adds not only a protective layer, but also years and value to any print.
Click here to read part one of this exclusive online series, Protecting Your Prints.