Five print providers share their experiences working with fine art and artists.
By Clare Baker
After receiving their master’s degrees from the Rochester Institute of Technology, artists and printmakers Chris Jordan and Karen Schlesinger were having a hard time finding the same printmaking services in the Albany, NY, area as they had been exposed to at RIT. "We decided that we had enough knowledge to do this. It was something that we both always wanted to do, and the time just sort of seemed right," says Schlesinger. And so after a few years of playing with the idea, they opened Digital Artist’s Space (www.digitalartistspace.com) in April 2006 in Troy, NY. Schlesinger is the company’s only full-time employee, while Jordan divides his time between the shop and a full-time teaching job.
Digital Artist’s Space works primarily with regional artists, but also offers their services-printing, scanning, consulting, and training-to local galleries, museums, and cultural institutions. The shop has had success with word-of-mouth advertising as Schlesinger points out: "We’re in a downtown area of a small town that has a lot of artists, so a lot of people have come to know us just by seeing us on the street," but the company also has had to get its name out there in print-advertising in a local magazine and sending out postcards.
Jordan and Schlesinger print reproductions of fine art as well as original digital fine art. For reproductions, they shoot large format with a 4x5 camera and then do a large-resolution scan of the transparency, using their Imacon Flextight 848. They also have an Epson Perfection V750 for scanning 8x10 film and small artwork. They output on their Epson Stylus Pro 9800 and 9600 with UltraChrome K3 inks. While offering the usual suspects in fine-art media, including papers and canvases from Hahnemuhle, Somerset, and Epson, the shop also experiments with a range of applications. "We’re always trying to push the boundaries, see what we can do with the technology. I’m experimenting with printing on Plexiglas, metal, fabrics-alternative materials that would open up a range of possibilities for artists." Schlesinger continues, "People are always going to have needs that are outside the conventional, [so] as an artist, I’m always trying to figure out different ways to approach my work."