Sunday, June 14, 2009

Digitally Printed Beverage Can Installation

Creating with a vision in mind….. Recently while contemplating printing surfaces, I had this thought about creating a forest installation with recycled beverage cans. My biggest problem was trying to assess where this idea was going. So I slept on it and got a picture on some ideas to proceed. Printing and working with the can’s surface is the start.

The cans do present some difficulties. Pretty easy to print a few at a time, but printing 100’s is a little different. The cans need to be cut, flattened, sanded, washed, pre-coated, attached to carrier sheets, printed, dried, sprayed, dried, coated with MSA Varnish and one more time dried.

Once those tasks are finished for 100 cans, days have passed and to keep the process going 100 cans are in the works in different stages of the process. It is quite an undertaking and the printing itself is a little scary. It took me several days to come up with the best way to print the right amount of cans on a carrier sheet that would go through the printer with no crunching or scraping sounds. Any kind of sound is not to be ignored and the printing process has to be monitored at all times to make sure there are no problems. Immediate response to my printer is imperative to keep it running and printing.

Now it remains to construct the pieces. For one of the configurations in the installation it takes one can to piece 15 to 17 inches. I have finished 150 cans to start the creation of the installation.

The surface is enchanting and it will be sometime to get enough pieces together to see what has to be done. There is excitement as I watch it go together, see what can be depicted with this unique surface. The forests reflect light in amazing ways and I can see that is the surface of the cans. It will be entirely interesting to go forward from here.

The pictures here show various stages of the process so far. Tomorrow at 4am my husband and I will be leaving for Yosemite. The few days we will spend in the Maripose Grove will enhance my sense of how this installation will enfold. I will continue to post on the unfolding.

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