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Printing With Purpose

(June 2009) posted on Wed Jun 10, 2009

Using Flatbed and other digital-print technologies to make a statement.

click an image below to view slideshow

By Clare Baker

To capture her images, Krause used an older 5.5-megapixel Olympus digital SLR. For this work, Krause says that she’s happy with the images the camera produced because, oftentimes, her photographs are intended to look more like a photo than a painting—“soft-focus images with the deliberate loss of detail,” she says.
Krause then scanned her paintings with a Microtek 9800 XL Scanmaker scanner and combined the scanned paintings and digital photos in Photoshop, working at times with up to 30 layers in Photoshop.

Her work, Krause explains, continues to evolve after the images are combined. “Sometimes I’ll scan a painting, print it, then paint back on top of it and then scan and print it again. It’s a ‘looping’ process. At some point, though, I stop and say, ‘Enough.’”

Fusing art with technology
After finalizing the PSD files, Krause then embarked on the printing side of things. To output the files, she teamed up with EFI Vutek, a company she has worked with many times in the past. The output for the largest pieces would be done by the printer OEM itself.

For 13 of the 19 final prints, Krause output her images using a Vutek PressVu UV 200/600 with UV curable inks onto an array of media (depending upon the individual artwork), including:
• Brushed aluminum Dibond;
• Wood textured with a fresco mix of plaster and rabbit-skin glue and washed with metallic pigment;
• Clear polycarbonate; and
• Aluminum, textured with chine collé, silver leaf, and mica.

Images were often printed as diptychs, triptychs, or as separate but related images. The final dimensions of the artwork ranged in size from 32 x 40 up to 40 x 72 inches.
The PressVu printer was chosen, Krause explains, “because its speed and ability to print on a wide range of substrates without the need for a precoat make it ideal for printing art.” Another major strength of this particular printer, she says, is its use of white ink. “Making a grayscale mask to indicate where the very opaque white ink should be placed enables you to utilize the reflectivity and color of surfaces such as aluminum and wood, while maintaining the white in your files.”