Large format art at a fraction of the cost - music to our ears. Because our townhouse is an open floor plan, sometimes it can be a bit difficult to differentiate from the distinct living spaces on the ground level. To make our dining room more of a separate space, we needed a statement piece to create a focal point for the room. I had been shopping for large pieces of artwork for a while, but nothing that we really loved, really loved our wallets. So, recycling some blank canvases that were used from another project, we stretched fabric across them that had been sublimated with a photo of El Albayzin, Grenada, Spain that James took from his studies abroad.
The blank canvases measure 39" x 15.5". Using Pixelmator for Mac (a more affordable alternative to Adobe Photoshop), we created three files out of one photo (making sure the photo was of the highest quality), allowing for 4" of overhang on each side. We sent the three files to a sublimation printing shop via James's dad's connections in the textile industry. (For similar shops, try Print Trends or Jones Printing in our own Chattanooga, TN, or search the web or similar local shops).
Within a few days, we had a woven material with the photo sublimated onto the fabric in the dimensions that we needed to cover the canvases. After we stapled the fabric onto the canvases, we hung them in a triptych in our dining room. Hanging art with April means eye-balling the right place and winging it, while hanging art with James means meticulously measuring and using math (ahh!) to calculate the appropriate placement. Good thing James won that battle - now the artwork is perfectly aligned!
- Make sure to use a high quality image that is capable of being enlarged to the size of canvas you choose. Check out this guide on what kind of photo to choose for printing. Search Google Images for other images that you might like to use if you don't have any that are large enough.
- Before stapling the fabric down across the canvas, make sure to see if the picture is in alignment with the rest of your canvases.
- When hanging a triptych, definitely use your rudimentary math to ensure that it will center properly on the wall.
For us, we were fortunate that this project was free. For those of you who need to purchase canvases, you can purchase blank canvases at your local art supplies store, Michael's, or Dick Blick. Sublimation printing varies widely, but generally will cost more than screen printing. We'd suggest shopping around and getting some price quotes before choosing a printer.