What is a Giclee? By Guest Writer, Trina Slade-Burks

The Rickie Report often receives questions about art mediums and terms.  We asked Trina Burks of A.T.B. Fine Artists & Designers LLC to be a contributing writer for this article.  What is a giclee (gee-clay)?

“Tunnels” by Trina Slade-Burks; Graphite & Colored Pencil. In the Alexi Figueroa Collection

 

A.T.B. Fine Artists & Designers LLC (originally A.T.B.Burks; Graphic Designer) was founded by the husband & wife artist team of Anthony & Trina Burks in April 1992.  The company primarily created corporate identities and fine art.  Over the last 20 years , A.T.B has provided a wider range of art services including design work in layout & signage, private art projects, managing art and music careers, teaching arts in education and hosting art shows.

 

“Rinsing Off” Giclee, Artist Unknown

Now, fine art printers can be added to their repertoire!  With 23 years of signage & design experience plus 10 years of digital experience, it only made sense for this team to provide a service to artists by artists in this somewhat competitive arena of the printing and art world: Giclee printing.

 

Lithograph “Hand Reflecting Sphere” by M.C. Escher

Is a giclee the same as a lithograph?  

Many have asked  this question over the years.  The answer to that is they are very different.  A lithograph is a fine art print that is an older process using a series of plates with four colors. The first print will be more accurate to the original art work than the last image. This is because often the yellow ink will fade sooner because of this continuous printing process.   This is only cost effective when producing 100 or more prints.  Physical storage of the plates is also necessary.  Salvador Dali, Marc Chagall, and Andy Warhol not only created lithographs but then hand colored them, adding to their value.
Giclees are also fine art prints that are produced on IRIS printers which were invented in the late 1980’s. The word “giclee” is based on the French word “gicler” which means “to spray”.  The prints are now produced by inkjet printers and do require a little more print time to produce, however the quality to the original work is much more likely to be exact.  To increase the value of a digital print, many artists go back and add touches of paint or pencil.  Dating and signing a giclee adds distinction and selling a limited edition with documentation adds to its worth.

 

“Florida Panther” by Tony Burks from The Endangered Species Exhibit 2012, Mixed media

 

Most times those who produce giclees can print on an as-needed basis for clients because no plates are produced or stored and the images are stored to the accurate tones needed.  A.T.B can also stay competitive because they are a home based business, so there is little over head.  This is a great opportunity for an artist-based company to provide a service to other fellow artists and fully understand the need they are fulfilling.

 

 

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