Printing

Scanning

Mounting

FACE  Mounting

Special Services

A 60" x 110" print coming off an Epson 11880

Are you a digital print Virgin, don't worry we all were once!

Check out our FAQ's for help on how to get started

Print Services

We are not a print "factory" using automated systems, come in or send us a file and one of us will actually look at your work and make sure it will print the way you want it to. All of our print specialists are graduate artists in their own right and we deeply care about what we produce. We have no "customer support" reps, the person you talk or e-mail with is the person that will make your print.

We have been making prints in this way for artists and photographers since 1996 and since then we have printed every kind of print imaginable (and some that defy imagination).  We have printed works for major museums, galleries and for kitchen walls. We have made thousands of square feet of wallpaper, Lenticular images and velum wall texts. Our prints travel, and last year alone, we made prints that went to France, Germany, Holland, Japan, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Venezuela, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates, and Fishtown, and they are just the places we know about!

We can print up to 64" wide by any length and use Epson printers with pigment based ink which are archival and to museum standards.

We have two grades of paper, "premium" and "fine art". "Premium" refers to the premium papers offered by Epson for their printers. They are archival and print exceptionally well.

"Fine Art" papers are the more expensive 100% cotton rag and alpha cellulose papers in much heavier weights and with different characteristics. We have papers from Innova, Hahnemühle, Canson (Arches), Crane Museo and Canvas from Innova, Fredrx and Epson. We stock most of these papers in 44" widths, we hate to waste paper so we price smaller prints to encourage the use of the full width of paper.

We also carry a wide range of rice papers, fabrics and other weird substrates including PhotoTEX and Tyvek (great for wallpaper), Mylar, clear acrylic film and a host of other materials. Click here for a complete list.

We also collaborate with traditional print methods and make Chine Collé prints and hybrid digital and silkscreen, woodblock, lino-cut and other traditional methods. (see special prints).

Try us once and we are sure you will join our ever growing family of artists and photographers.

 

 

Image: Polly Apflebaum at Temple Contemporary

Scanning or Digitizing Work

We have four basic scanning methods which cover pretty much anything an artist has asked us for (so far anyway).

Film Scanning

We can scan from any film based work from 35 mm negatives and slides to 4 x 5 and all kinds of other non-standard size photo media. For these we use a Hasselblad /Imacon "virtual drum" scanner which is acknowledged to be the industry's best.

 

 

Flat Bed Scanning

We have a large flat bed scanner on which we can scan up to 20" x 30". The image to be scanned is placed face down on a glass surface and can be scanned at very high resolution. If putting your work face down on glass could be a problem see below.

 

Very Large Scanning - Betterlight

For larger work, images with a delicate surface or framed work that could be damaged by removing it from the frame we use a Betterlight system. This is a 4 x 5 camera mounted on rails, with two banks of Northlight hot lights and a 144 Mpix digital scanning back which goes in the camera where, traditionally, film would go. With this system we can scan up to around 4 feet x 6 feet at very high resolution and amazing quality. We can also scan delicate works that are under glass and framed - without removing them from the frame.

Also by using special polarizing light and camera filters we can remove glare and reflection from the most glossy work.

This system is also semi-portable so could be used for large collections needed to be photographed in-situ.

We also have a Nikon D800 - 36 Mpix digital camera which we use in the same studio for smaller works which cannot be scanned on the flat bed. Please call for a quote.

Mounting and Laminating

We offer a complete mounting and laminating service using a cold, roll fed, pressure based system.

Surface Mounting

When frame shops mount pictures they use a vacuum press where a tissue is heated and the tissue, print and board are fused together. In theory this is reversible by reheating the print and board although it is not always successful.

Our process is archival, permanent and non-reversible. Our cold, roll fed laminating press uses a white high tack permanent solvent-based acrylic, which has an opaque white liner, to attach the print to a variety of boards.

Mounting Options

  • Foam board. Archival, lignin free and acid free 3/16" foam board is great for temporary signs or prints that will be mounted in frames. It has a tendency to warp if not kept flat.
  • Acrylic, also known as Plexiglass, comes in 1/8", 3/16" and 1/4" thickness with or without polished edges. Acrylic is flexible so it needs to be kept flat. We use cast acrylic which is more expensive and much better than extruded (which is often not perfectly flat).
  • DiBond® in 2 mm and 3 mm.
    DiBond® and E-Panel are a sandwich of two sheets of pre-painted aluminum with a solid polypropylene core. It is a light and very rigid product.
  • E-Panel in 3 mm, a less expensive version of DiBond®
  • Gator foam in 3/16" and 1/2" in black and white.
    Gator foam is an extruded polystyrene foam board bonded between two layers of Luxcell® wood-fiber veneer. It is extremely rigid and light, making it very suitable for mounting prints without any other kind of backing. Whether it is archival or not is open to debate (check the web!). We use a white polypropylene liner between the image and the board which adds an extra level of protection. In the last 7 years we have not seen any evidence of any deterioration or yellowing in prints mounted to Gator.
  • Sintra® in 2 mm and 3 mm in black and white.
    Sintra® is a lightweight yet rigid board of moderately expanded closed-cell polyvinyl chloride (PVC) extruded in a homogeneous sheet with a low gloss matte finish and is archival. While rigid Sintra® will not warp it is flexible so it needs to be kept flat.
  • Museum Board in 4 ply and 8 ply a 100% cotton rag base board, lignin free, acid free and archival.
  • Laminating
    We offer either matte or high gloss laminates which both provide UV protection. Our laminates will not shrink.
  • Mounting Customers' Art Work
    We do not, as a general rule, mount any work that we have not printed in house. Because we use a cold mounting system that uses pressure based rollers things can go wrong and the artwork can be damaged irreparably. If we have produced the work in-house and it's damaged, we can simply reprint it at our cost.

 

All mounting work must be done at the time of printing.

Face Mounting

Face mounting is similar to the Diasec® process from the early 1970's where a high gloss print is mounted to the surface of an acrylic or Plexiglass® sheet. The optical characteristics of the sheet makes the print take on a sharper, more colorful appearance enhanced UV protection.

We normally back-mount the piece to DiBond® which is a  is a rigid,  aluminum composite material consisting of two pre-painted sheets of .012-inch aluminum bonded to a solid polyethylene core. It is approximately one-half the weight of aluminum.

We use a optically clear permanent acrylic adhesive with added UV inhibitors to further protect the image from fading. We print on a premium grade 260 gsm resin coated gloss paper and the print is face mounted to 1/8" cast acrylic. A 2 mm DiBond® back is fixed to the back and then a 3/4" or 1" square aluminum tube frame is glued to the back with a lip on one side of the tube to allow it to be attached to a wooden French cleat. The mounted piece is provided ready to hang.

We also have a metallic paper which offers excellent results and can a non glare or scratch resistant acrylic at additional cost.

 

 

Other services

 

Along with printing, scanning and mounting we also offer a number of other services:

Art Related

  • We often work with art consultants to help with the selection of image for clients.

Computer related

  • Photo restoration
  • Image retouching
  • Colorize monochrome prints

Print related

  • Deckled edges; we can deckle the edges of most prints we make
  • Create CMYK files for offset printing

 

Lenticular Prints

More information

Multi-process prints

We like to combine traditional printing methods with digital and apart from the results, which are stunning, it offers a practical method to achieve a certain look or style. Check out this movie we made for a proposed show.

If you have ever done an etching you will know how much work is involved to make a multi color etching which requires a plate for each color. With a digital Chine Collé you can print a full color image on rice paper and then use one copper plate to fuse the rice paper to the sheet with the etching plate.

We have also silk screened onto digital prints to get a better effect for silver or gold ink or even sparkles.

We have made digital prints which were embossed afterwards. More information.

 

 

Image: Virgil Marti

Silicon Fine Art Prints 139 N. 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Toll free 888-ART PRINT / 215-238 6062  info@siliconfineartprints.com © 2015 (Notice)