Mark Lawrence Gallery takes great pride in producing fine art for our collectors. These care instructions are designed to provide basic guidelines that will help you to care for your fine art giclees. Your purchase is an investment that we want your family to enjoy for generations. Please read the following guidelines carefully.
Fine Art Conservation and Care
General Care: As with any valued fine piece, it is recommended that fine art prints be displayed in indirect lighting conditions and away from any contact with moisture. High humidity, airborne dust, solvents, adhesives, smoke (including tobacco), and other similar contaminants can permanently damage your print.
We recommend hanging your artwork in a low traffic area to reduce the risk of physical damage by passers-by. Hang your artwork at an elevation out of the reach of young children.
Do not expose your printed artwork to heat. Giclee inks can be sensitive to heat.
Handling: To avoid damaging the printed image, never place giclees face down on any object or surface. While in storage, do not place objects on top of the artwork. Keep handling to a minimum when during the hanging process and hold your print only from the sides. Fine art papers can scratch easily, so be very careful to avoid scraping anything across the surface of the print.
Cleaning: Never wash a giclee with water, damp cloths or solvents. For cleaning we recommend using a clean, white, dry, soft lint-free cloth to gently wipe off dust and/or dirt. Using a white non-colored cloth will allow you to see when dust has been collected.
To avoid staining the giclee, do not clean with a dirty or dark colored cloth. For canvas giclees only it is acceptable to gently wipe the printed surface with a soft white cloth that has been dampened with water. It is recommended to only do this when necessary.
Giclee Prints on Paper: The paper needs to be handled carefully to prevent absorption of oils and/or marks from fingertips. Be careful to avoid dents and creases, since these can be very difficult or impossible to remove later.
The use of archival materials for mats, backing and spacers, museum quality framing and UV protected glass or Plexiglas will add to the life of the print. Use archival quality mounts and mat boards.
We recommend using 100% cotton board for mounting prints. Do not spray mount. Never use tape to adhere the print to a mounting board. The tape’s adhesive can cause damage to the paper.
Always use corner pockets or edge strips to mount the print to the mounting board. Edge strips should be manufactured from either polyester film (Mylar D or Melinex ) or Japanese paper. Seal the back of the art frame to protect the art from moisture and air-borne contaminants.
Use UV filtered glass or Plexiglass to protect the surface of the print from sunlight. The artwork should never directly touch the glass or Plexiglas.
Giclee Prints on Canvas: When stretching canvas prints, never steam the back of the canvas with an iron to remove wrinkles. This can cause your image to yellow and if not properly dried, can allow fungus to grow.
Stretcher bars are typically made of wood. The different types of wood can range from fir to pine. The bars are used to form a rectangular or square support over which the canvas is stretched. Cross braces may be used for added frame support and to help prevent bending and warping.
Use rounded-edge stretcher bars to allow the canvas to roll over the canvas rather than crease over a sharp edge. Rounded edges also help reduce surface friction and allow for a more uniform and tighter draw. This will also help to reduce sagging of the print in the future. Changes in relative humidity and temperature can cause sagging, even to originals.
Lighting: It is recommended that you never display giclee prints in direct sunlight. At present only our canvas products come with UV protective coatings. Less light means less fading from harmful ultraviolet rays.
Storage: Store your canvas or paper giclee in an environment controlled for both humidity and temperature. Ideal environmental conditions are 70 degrees and 55% humidity. High humidity can cause yellowing.
Keep all giclee prints away from solvent-based materials such as oil paints and linseed oil, as the vapors can cause yellowing. Stretched pieces should be stored upright, not stacked and all prints should be interleaved with archival paper dividers and never stored with any weight on top of them. Avoid tape coming in contact with the coated print as it can peel. Do not store embellished prints in plastic bags.
FLATTENING A CURLED PAPER ART PRINT
Follow these tips to easily uncurl your paper prints that have been shipped rolled in a tube. If you intend to have your print professionally framed, you don’t need to do anything. Delivering your “to-be-framed” print to the framer in its original shipping tube is the safest way to go.
If the flattening instructions below seem too daunting, the professional services of a framer would also be best employed to flatten your print.
Some things not to do:
- Never use an iron, no matter how many “protective” layers you put between it and the print.
- Never use steam or moisture.
- Never scrape the back of a print over the edge of a table.
The flattening method:
Keep the print inside the protective tissue sleeve. Gently de-curl the print by rolling it in the opposite direction to which it is curled and placing it back inside the tube for 1-5 hours.
- Prepare a flat, smooth, hard surface for working. Clean it of any grit and particles that might bruise or stain your print.
- Clean your hands. Skin oils are not good for a print. Only handle the print by its edges and never touch the printed image area.
For the next step, be careful when rolling or unrolling the print so you don’t accidentally tear, bend, or crease it during the process.
- De-curl Rolling: Starting at the edge closest to you, roll the print (keep in the tissue sleeve) in the opposite direction to the print curl. Don’t roll things too tightly or you can bruise the print.
- Slide the rolled tissue paper/print combination back fully into the shipping tube.
- Let it sit that way for a time. The exact amount of time required can range from between one and five hours. Humidity and temperature has a great bearing on the time needed.
- Remove the print from the tube and unroll it. Lay it out, image side up, on a flat surface.
- With the tissue paper still covering the print’s image, place a few, smooth, flat, heavy objects (such as books) on the ends and middle of the print. Let it sit for a couple more hours.
- Remove the heavy objects from the print.
- If your print still isn’t flat, let it sit with heavy objects holding it down for a few more hours.
This extra care given will allow you to enjoy your purchase for many years to come.