Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Canvas Printing And Gallery Wraps III

So, we finally reach the last installment of this series.....making the gallery wrap.  Part I was about printing on canvas and Part II covered varnishing the canvas print. So, now, the gallery wrap.  I tried the Breathing Color EasyWrappe system, which is manufactured by IG Wrap Inc, and, to my eye, looks to be the same product offered by Hahnemuhle and marketed by them as Gallerie Wrap.  There are two 'levels' , the basic and the Pro.  The only difference between them is that the basic EasyWrappe stretcher bars are 1.25 inches thick while the Pro version is 1.75 inches thick.  The corner tension is dealt with slightly differently in each, and the Pro version also offers center bracing bars for large panels as well as extenders so that individual bars can be combined to make longer ones.

I purchased the EasyWrappe Pro trial kit, but I personally find the 1.75 inch bars to be a bit too thick for smaller canvases.  I just oredered an  EasyWrappe basic trial kit as well as an assortment of stretcher bar lengths, which are on the way.  I plan to use the Pro version only for large canvases. Oh, and the basic kit bars are far less expensive than the Pro version!

The wrap can be made in one of two ways.  In can be constructed so that the edge of the canvas ends flush to the back edge of the wooden stretcher bar or it can be folded over the back of the stretcher bar and stapled in place to yield a more traditional finish.  I decided on the stapling approach to give the finished piece an appearance that really duplicates the more traditional look.

So how does it all work.  The folks at Breathing Color have produced a video to show you how to make a gallery wrap with their kit (scroll down the page the link brings you to for the video).....and this one is quite good and takes you through all the steps.  Rather than repeat what is well explained in the video (and on the instructions that come with the kit) I would just add two tips that might be of assistance:

1) Don't forget to increase the size of the image by the approriate amount, using a reflection of the sides of the image, in order to wrap around the bar.  If the starting image is for example, 12x16 inches, that is the size of the bars that are used, but you need to increase the image size using a mirror edge (don't freak out....this page has a video that demonstrates how to easily do mirror edges in Photoshop...just scroll down the list until you get to the one entitled "How to do a Mirror Edge in Photoshop for a Gallery Wrap", and there are also lots of Photoshop actions available on the internet if you do a search).

2) If you want to staple the canvas around the back of the bars like I did, you need to leave more excess canvas (the amount is given in the instructions and depends on if you are using the Pro version or not).  But more excess makes it somewhat harder to center the bars evenly before doing the wrap.  The way I did it accurately was to just make some mesurements on the back of the canves and put a mark at each 1/8 inch between 1 and 2 inches in from the canvas edge at two locations on each side so that the bars could be easily centered and lined up while they were still in the plastic corners.

Overall the system is really pretty easy to use and gives very professional appearing results.

So, as I said in my first post of this series: the process was not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be and gave a very professional appearing final product.  If printing on canvas is something that you have been considering, why not give it a try? Your first canvas might not be perfect but your second or third might well be.

I highly recommend the Breathing Color products and, in my experience, their customer service has been second to none!