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Tuesday
Nov082016

Storing Your Rolls of Fine Art Paper

by Lester Picker, Moab Master

www.lesterpickerphoto.com

As a Moab Master I'm asked every so often how our studio handles paper storage... lots and lots of paper. We are constantly testing papers for ones that meet our high standards (another reason we love Moab papers!). Boxed sheet papers are obviously no problem, so long as you have room and shelves to stack them. But roll paper presents different challenges. 

For years, as our fine art print business grew, we faced an increasing mess. Some of our roll papers we put back into the boxes they came in, while others we slipped into their plastic bags, and still others stood bare, ready to be used. As the variety of rolled paper types increased we sometimes got confused about which papers were which. We wasted time sorting through boxes to find the right paper and then wasted more time unboxing and re-boxing them. We also had a fair amount of damaged paper, which is a death sentence for a viable business. 

We finally tackled our roll paper storage problem once and for all. I'm not suggesting that our solution will work for you, but it sure works for us. 

We had a narrow closet that we already used for our pathetic version of roll paper storage. When I could take it no longer,  I cleared out all the papers and created the storage solution you see here. 

The Solution

If this solution looks good to you, here is all you need to get the job done. The entire installation took me just a few hours from start to finish.

 

  • Some 2 x 4s (the length will depend on how high you are willing to stretch and how low you're willing to bend to go to retrieve the heavy rolls). 2 x 4s are required because by standing out from the wall they allow enough room for the paper roll to fit between the hook and the wall. 
  • Screws (long enough to get through the 2 x 4, 1/2 inch sheetrock and into the stud behind)
  • Toggle bolts (if you cannot screw into studs, you'll need these to anchor the 2 x 4s)
  • Hooks (2 for each bar; you can get these at Home Depot; just make sure they are a sturdy kind)
  • 1-1/2" diameter wood dowels (each one should be 60" long if your maximum paper width is 44", or 48" long if your maximum paper roll width is 36"). I recommend that even if the maximum paper size you can print is 24" you not go less than the 36" paper width. The maxim in fine art printing is that you can never go big enough, and that 24" printer will soon be too small for you!
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Tape measure

 

Tips

I'll let you figure out the steps needed to build this out. However, here are a few tips:

 

  1. Make sure that the interior distance between the 2 x 4s is long enough to allow the roll to fit, with an extra inch or two to prevent smashing your rolls when you mount them. In our case, the widest rolls we use are 44". However, we often use 24" rolls, so I set the distance between my 2 x 4s at 50" so I could mount two 24" rolls side-by-side.
  2. Allow enough room between hooks going down the 2x4 to enable you to hang the rolls without a hassle. I left 6" between the bottom of one hook and the bottom of the next. 
  3. I found it easiest to set all your hooks going down one 2 x 4. Then simply use a long level to place each hook's partner on the other 2 x 4. This will save you lots of time in measuring. If you do not have a long enough level, you can alternately use your straightest dowel with a level on top.
  4. Paper rolls can be heavy and you'll be mounting and removing them every time you need one. Make sure you secure the 2 x 4s and the hooks with adequate fasteners. 
  5. Allow plenty of room for the bars to overlap the hooks. I suggest 60" bars for hooks that are set 48-50" apart. 

 

Hopefully, this setup will cure your paper roll blues. Good luck!

Tuesday
Oct182016

Photoplus Brings on Power of Print

 

Booth 973

Learn from these Moab Masters all the great ways you can generate revenue from printing!





Thursday, October 20

12:30 Jim LaSala


Friday, October 21

11:15 Jim Graham


Saturday, October 22

Bring your file for a free print on Moab Paper!

Register for Photoplus here.

Tuesday
Sep202016

Reversing Roll Paper Curl

By Les Picker

www.lesterpickerphoto.com

In a recent Moab blog, I discussed the issue of print head strikes that can happen with cut-sheet paper due to curled edges, and how to prevent those strikes. 

If you print on roll paper, you know the advantages in terms of economy and choice of paper size. However, there is one issue that gets little attention amidst all the other technical things printmakers need to keep in mind. That issue is end-to-end paper curl.

When a roll is unused, the first few prints that emerge from the printer have very little curl in them. But, as the roll progresses to the core, the paper will curl more and more until, for the last few prints, the curl can be a problem to deal with. This curling is due to fiber memory. The paper has sat in that tightly rolled configuration for weeks or months and the fibers relax into that configuration. So, how do the pros deal with this curl?

SOLVING THE PROBLEM

It turns out the solution is really quite simple. Although rather pricey commercial anti-curl devices are available, you can make your own for less than $10 and get identical results. Here's how. 

To make your own anti-curl device you will need:

A good straight edge

A sharp cutting blade 

A length of window shade material or, better yet, a length of Moab Anasazi canvas (I'll explain why)

A 2" tube from a used roll of photographic art paper (free) or a 2" length of PVC pipe (not free, but inexpensive)

Blue painter's tape, 2-3" wide

Camel's hair brush

You will need a straight edge as wide as the widest paper you intend to print on. If you have a 13" printer, then an 18" or 24" straight edge is fine. We regularly print 44" wide prints, so I used a rather long straight edge.

Make sure that you do not skimp on blades. Whenever cutting prints, canvas, backing boards, matts or anything photographic, use fresh blades for precise and smooth cuts. 

You can buy plain window shade material for the anti-curl device at any Home Depot or many hardware stores. We prefer to use Moab's Anasazi canvas because of its softness, pliability and ease of cleaning. We prefer not to have anything rough touch our prints. In terms of fabric, the length should be at least six inches longer than the longest prints you think you will do. Think panoramas!

The tubing or piping should be the same length as your fabric. The key thing here is to make sure that the tubing is rigid. 

Finally, a word about the tape. We recommend blue painter's because it is readily available, inexpensive and soft. Whatever you do, do not use duct tape. It is far too sticky and no matter what one does, that sticky stuff somehow ends up on prints. 

HOW TO ASSEMBLE

Once you measure and cut your fabric, butt the edge up to the tubing, making sure that the edge of the fabric is exactly parallel to the tubing. Have someone assist you and while one holds the fabric against the tube, the other lays down a continuous strip of tape along the seam. Allow at least three inches to overhang each end and then tuck that three inch segment into the tube on each side. That creates a more secure bond and prevents any exposed adhesive from the tape from contaminating your prints. 

HOW TO USE

Before you begin the anti-curl process, brush off the fabric and the print with a camel's hair brush. Since you will be rolling this tightly, you do not want dirt particles embedded in your print. 

Prints can curl face up or face down. If your print comes off the end of a roll of paper, it will be curled face up, with the curled edges behind the image. If, for example, you have rolled the print to send it in a tube and it has stayed that way for a while, it will be curled face down, meaning the cirled edges will be in front of the image. Determine which way your print curls and place it in the roller accordingly. 

If the print is not quite flat when you unroll it, repeat the process, but first rotate the print 180 degrees. Leave again for 15-60 seconds and in 90% of cases that will do it. You will be ready to adhere the print to a backing or mount it in whatever way you want. 

SOME TIPS

Once you are done with the reverse curling, place your anti-curl device into a plastic sleeve and clamp it shut to prevent exposure to dust and dirt. 

In some cases of extreme curl you may want to rotate the print 90 degrees and then roll it once briefly as a final measure. In that case only leave it for 15 seconds before checking.

Use your reverse curled print as soon as possible after this process. Sometimes if that print is left on a table for days some curl will return. In that case, of course, just use your device again, but this time leave it rolled for a shorter period. 

Use cotton gloves when working with your final prints. 

You may have to reverse curl the print prior before spraying it with Moab Desert Varnish, simply because an extreme curl would compromise good side-to-side spray technique. But, if you have a choice, we suggest reverse curling after spraying as added protection for your print (look for a future article and video on proper spray technique). 

If you are interested in seeing a video of me demonstrating the anti-curl process, click here.

Tuesday
Sep062016

Andy Warhol in front of a tree.

This summer Manneraak and Karen Bystedt launched their new collaboration at Manneraaks exhibition in Mandal, Norway. The exhibition showed 11 of Manneraaks new works and of course this new picture of Andy in front of a tree in the south of Norway.

Karen Bystedt is founder and photographer of The Lost Warhols brings to life one of the greatest art icons of the twentieth century. Shot at 'The Factory' in New York City, Bystedt was a student at NYU, working on a book on the top male models of the era, when she cold-called Andy Warhol. Andy himself, answered the phone and agreed to a rare sitting with Bystedt in the conference room at 'The Factory'.

Bystedt went on to publish four books. Participating in the books, are celebrities like Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves and many more. Having found the Warhol-negatives in 2011, long lost since the initial shoot in 1982, in Andy's spirit, Bystedt has began collaborating with some of the great artists in the street and pop art genres of today including Peter Tunney, Speedy Graphito, Gregory Siff, Dom Pattinson and Chris Brown aka Konfuzed.
Permanent collections of the Lost Warhols may be found at The Andy Warhol Museum, the Armenian Museum of Modern Art, the Hearst Foundation, the Lourdes Foundation and in the private collections of Prince Albert of Monaco, Tomoasso Buti, George Lopez, David Caruso and the Dean Collection (Swizz Beats) among others. With Murals located in Los Angeles, California as well as Houston, Texas.

For this project she has invited the Norwegian artist S. Manneraak to paint and work on one of the Warhol portraits. Working very closely with nature and being from Mandal, it was natural for Manneraak to put Warhol into a landscape from the countryside in Mandal comune.

The gallery was printing on MOAB Slickrock Metallic, Face mounted on acrylic glass.

View more of the collection here. 

Tuesday
Aug302016

The American Landscape Photo Contest

Congratulations to the winners of the Outdoor Photogtapher American Landscape Photo Contest! With 500+ stunning entries, and 30 finalists, here are the three winners...

 

Grand Prize

Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake by Bill Tuttle

Second Prize

Grand Teton Twilight Afterglow by Matt Anderson

Third Prize

Nature by Jacek Borkowski