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verb "gicler," meaning "to squirt.” Once printed, Barry’s Giclée takes 48-hours to cure. It is then ready for framing and varnishing. Framing frenzy Barry coats his Giclée prints with three coats of varnish – rendering them archival and virtually indestructible, eliminating the need for glass between art and observer and even allowing them to be displayed outdoors year round. “I’ve always had an interest in woodworking,” Barry told Tapestry from the confines of his “man cave”. “I had trouble justifying the amount of tools I’ve collected over the years that went unused, and framing was the perfect way to keep them in use.”

Using western red cedar planks to create his gallery wraps, Barry has developed a term for the finished product, “I call it ultra-light art”, he says, while digging around to find the perfect accompanying hook. “These work perfectly,” Barry explains, producing a 3M Compound Strip that will adhere to the wall. “I can re-do your whole art collection without making a single nail hole,” Barry says proudly. Using biscuits and glue to create the joints, Barry’s frames aren’t just ultra-light, they are also ultra-strong, as is the varnish that Barry applies in a three-coat process. Coming in at about $150/gallon, the application of varnish is the final step in creating art that will literally, in some cases, outlast the subject matter itself. The Cost of Perfection When working for artists in other forms of media, Barry uses polarized lighting and a polarizing filter on a Nikon camera to shoot the digital images that will become Giclée prints against a green screen. Although destined to become Giclée prints, the images

shot in Barry’s home studio can also be used by artists for upload to the Internet, or to create a digital archive. When used to create Giclée prints, Barry’s reproductions of original images make art affordable for everyone and afford the opportunity for the artist to command a fair price for an original work. “There is no point in creating an image if you have no one to share it with,” Barry says, confirming the advantage of Web site sales. “But allowing artists to determine the value of their own art (through reproduction) is the goal. There is no point for any artist to go day after day without sales.” Because Barry does not seek to improve or enhance the original artwork, he must reproduce the image exactly – even though that can be a costly, and time-consuming process. Once the image is transferred to the computer, it must be colour-matched to the original – another painstaking process. “It’s not always easy,” Barry confirms, adding that the calibration of the computer and the printer is important, to avoid costly “surprises” when the final image is printed. “I start by printing test strips. If I can see the colours are off


a bit, I re-adjust using a colorimeter to accurately measure the differences,” Barry explains. “I’ve had situations where I’ve had to reprint the image six or eight times at my own cost before submitting the final proof to the artist.” Career Catalogue When he isn’t working on another artists’ work, Barry Westhead seeks inspiration from his own image catalogue. “I keep everything I take,” says Barry Westhead of his some 30,000 raw images shot every year. “Then, I just keep looking back at old images and look for their value.” Sometimes these catalogued images inspire a new series – such as the display Barry recently created for the Manulife Centre at Hogs Hollow. Other times the images sit unused, waiting to fulfill their purpose. Where to Find Sample images of Barry His home studio is also open Westhead’s Giclée prints can to clients by appointment be found at www.art2printim- only.

Tapestry Fall 2011  
Tapestry Fall 2011  

A maganzine of quality living from King Township