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Axellence in Fine Art

(May 2006) posted on Thu May 11, 2006

Discover how Axelle Fine Arts approaches the printmaking process and why it continues to rely on traditional methods.

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By Andy MacDougall

Our number of colors on a print is usually about 20, and most of these editions the artists can dedicate the time it takes to work on the color separations themselves. However, we often have an edition going that will take 60 to 80 colors. Our record is 110 colors, all hand separated. On these high-color-count prints, the artist cannot be present for the entire edition. These separations get laid out digitally and hand corrections are done accordingly. When other printers hear that a print has 60 or more colors, they often respond by asking why—thatis, until they see the prints in person. We take special care to match sheen, chroma, and even texture. Since we don't use halftones unless the design calls for them, our blends are very subtle. Viewers often need to be told that they are looking at a print and not an original. The ultimate compliment I've received was when an artist saw our print of his work at an exhibition and asked, “What is that painting doing here? I thought it was sold.”

What kind of ink do you use to produce these works of art? What do you print on?
Ninety percent of the ink we use is water-based and predominantly from TW Graphics. We have been using Nor-Cote for most of our UV-ink needs and Nazdar for our oil-based. Sometimes, the artists we work with bring their own paints, which create some really interesting results. We just printed two editions with Kate Shepherd using a high-gloss boat paint and four editions with Torben Giehler using Golden artists medium and a 72-thread/in. mesh.


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