Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Digital Prints on Alternative Surfaces

Back in my studio today after spending a week traveling. First I went to Denver to participate in a seminar from the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. Imagine my disappointment when I arrived at the convention center in Denver and the instructor for the seminar didn’t show up. The organization didn’t even email anyone that morning to save them the drive into the city and the parking bill. My business trip was planned to install the piece pictured in this post, adding a couple of days early to do the NAPP seminar. NAPP rescheduled, but I am not returning to Denver to take this one.

Then the fun began installing my commission. This piece was commissioned by Mack Web Solutions in Ft. Collins, Colorado. The company wanted a piece to be installed in their new offices that was printed on my choice of alternative surfaces. The images used from the website are printed on both aluminum mesh and recycled beverage cans. I printed doubles of everything and then once in the space considered how the pieces would be used.

Here are some items that had to be considered:
The images for the piece were in 72 dpi and had to be enlarged without making the images blurry. I used a technique from Scott Kelby in one of his digital photography books. I had to change parts of how his instructions enlarged the image because mine was blurry. With a couple of adjustments to his instructions, my images were enlarged and printed at 150 dpi to keep them in focus.
The images to print on the cans are a little over 3". The beverage cans I used were only around that width, so I had to reprint many of the images that were hard to center on the cans. No amount of marking got the cans in the right place each time, but I did get enough to have them end up right.
Then, since I was not looking for the images to just be a copy of the website, I started to cut and play with the images to get the piece together. The globe is printed on aluminum mesh as well as the mack letters of the logo. There are 2 of each image stacked and cut then wired back together with beads in between the layers to separate the images. The images printed on cans are clips from websites the firm has designed. The cans were cut and wired together in 2 layers with beads in between to separate the layers.


  1. The installation looks amazing! It is an exciting array of surfaces and images. Your work is so dynamic.

    I am also very interested in the technique you used to enlarge the 72 dpi images.

  2. Hi Carol, Thanks, this installation was really challenging! Materials were interesting to work with and as usual I learned a lot.

    I am going to post the step by step on the technique I used to enlarge the images on the Art in Common Site. Look for it there in a couple of days:)


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