The word giclée was appropriated by Jack Duganne, a printmaker working at Nash Editions. In 1989 while searching for fine art output for his scanned images, Graham Nash (of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) was introduced to digital print technology when viewing a demonstration of the IRIS 3047 graphics printer used in the commercial printing industry. With the help of Jack Duganne, the concept of the first fine art digital printmaking studio was created. On July 1, 1991, Nash Editions opened its doors in Manhattan Beach, CA. Duganne wanted a name for the new type of prints they were producing on the IRIS printer, and he was specifically looking for a word that would not have the negative connotations of "inkjet" or "computer generated". It is based on the French word gicleur, which means "nozzle" (the verb form gicler means "to squirt, spurt, or spray. In giclee printing, no screen or other mechanical devices are used and therefore there is no visible dot screen pattern. The image has all the tonalities and hues of the original painting. For over twenty years Nash Editions has been offering digital print making services to photographers and artists all over the world. By 2003 Epson wide-format printers replaced the IRIS 3047 graphics printers. The original IRIS 3047 graphics printer purchased by Graham Nash now resides in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
Besides its original association with IRIS prints, the word giclée has come to be associated with other types of inkjet printing including processes that use fade-resistant, archival inks (pigment-based), and archival substrates primarily produced on Canon, Epson, HP and other large-format printers. These printers use the CMYK color process which increases the apparent resolution and color gamut and allows smoother gradient transitions. A giclée can be printed on a wide variety of substrates including various textures and finishes including watercolor paper, cotton canvas.
The term "Giclee print" represents an elevation in printmaking technology. Images are generated from high resolution digital scans and printed with archival quality inks onto various substrates including canvas, fine art, and photo-base paper. The Giclee printing process provides better colour accuracy than other means of reproduction. Archival quality ensures that the prints are light-fast and non water soluble.
The quality of the Giclee print rivals traditional silver-halide and gelatin printing processes and is commonly found in museums, art galleries, and photographic galleries.
All of Catherine's Giclees represented on this website are printed using a wide format Epson printer with Pigmented Inks on 100% rag paper. Each print is signed and numbered and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. To view all editions currently available, please visit the Giclee Gallery.
versus a Giclee
Detail of a reproduction of a painted image on canvas
Detail of a Giclee of the same painted image on canvas
Care of Your Giclée Prints
Giclée prints are individually produced on fine art hand-moulded paper or canvas using special archival inks. As with any delicate fine art, the handling and caring for Giclées as original works of art will ensure the longevity of your purchase for many years. They should be handled with care and protected from moisture and direct sunlight. When framing, museum quality materials and UV Protection glass is recommended. The printed surface should not be touched, as dirt and oils may damage the image.
Because paper is damaged by prolonged contact with chemically unstable materials, the choice of materials for storage is critical. Unframed Giclee prints should be stored flat in a cool, dry environment, protected with archival materials or interleaving. Also avoid acidic or solvent-based materials to prevent yellowing ~ any material that comes in contact with artwork should be acid-free or 100% cotton rag.
For additional information about caring for your fine art click here.
With correct care, your fine art purchase will provide many years of enjoyment.