Thursday, October 2, 2014

How it's Made : Our Framed Reproductions

Our repros are the backbone of our assortment.  That isn't to say every other category isn't equally important...  But the reproductions we offer of renowned pieces from the Art Institute of Chicago's permanent collection definitely set the tone throughout the catalog- just as they would in your home.  Each piece of artwork is individually crafted, and we are so excited to share this process with you today!  

After the artwork is selected by Ann and printed, it's shipped to Madison, Wisconsin where our friends at Amanti Art do what they do best- custom framing and finishing.  Our partnership with Amanti Art has lasted 13 years now and they never disappoint.  Below they use our Rothko Framed Reproduction to show each step.

The first step when any artwork comes in is to measure and inspect it.

After that, it goes to dry mounting and lamination.  This is a 3 step process.  The first step is to adhere a thermoplastic tissue to the fiber backing board.  This tissue, shown in the picture below, will act as an adhesive between the board and the art.  In the picture you see Monica using a small tacking iron to heat up a corner of the tissue.  This heat will activate the adhesive, which in turn will hold it in place while she cleans and inspects the tissue for any particles that might cause bubbles underneath the art.  Once that is done, the art is ready to be laid on top of the adhesive tissue.

Once the art is laid on top of the tissue, she will inspect it again for any particles, and then it’s ready for the dry mount machine.  The dry mount press will run a vacuum cycle that applies gentle pressure while simultaneously heating the art up to about 190 degrees for 5-8 minutes.  When the art comes out, it will be permanently adhered to the board.

This particular piece of art does not get a glass or acrylic glazing, but instead a matte laminate which is applied directly to the art.  Once the art comes out of the dry mount press, Monica will apply a thin sheet of matte laminate over the top and run it through the machine once more.

Meanwhile, off in the frame building department...

While Monica is hard at work dry mounting, at another station Matt is cutting our frames at the saw.

And assembling them at the underpinning machine…

After that, the art is ready for assembly.  At the assembly tables, this wooden strainer is screwed into the back of the frame to give it support and create a sturdy, lasting product.  If this piece had glass or acrylic glazing, it would be cut and fitted to the art at this time.

And then the backing, wire hanger, and protective corners are installed:

After that, it’s time for a quality inspection by the eagle eyes of our QC staff:

And then it’s ready to head off to the Museum Shop and from there onto your waiting walls! 

A big Thank You to everyone at Amanti Art!  Peruse our entire assortment of wall art here.

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