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Jan 03, 2018
I first encountered the medium that we call on our web site “Metal White” in about 2014. The printing technology, called dye sublimation, has been around since the late 1950s and has been used with paper, plastic, and fabric for decades. It is only more recently that dye sublimation has become a popular method of reproducing images onto metal.
Dye sublimation on metal, or on aluminum, is also sometimes called “dye-infused metal.” The dye is transferred to the aluminum under heat and pressure so that it is permanently a part of the surface. It’s not film or paint, and it can’t be washed or wiped off.
The finish is durable: it doesn’t scratch easily, and the colors don’t fade quickly. I particularly like that it can hang in a kitchen and be cleaned off; it can hang in a bathroom and not be ruined by moisture; it can hang in a room with changing light without a risk of the colors fading out; it can hang on a sun porch and withstand changes in weather.
Pieces reproduced onto metal are lightweight and easy to move, and they don’t require a lot of hardware on your walls. As with any sheet of aluminum, the edges and corners could crumple if the picture is dropped. We offer a framing option, which offers both protection and definition.
The sheet of aluminum is sometimes metallic; we offer white because we think that it makes our colors pop.
I tend to use intense colors, and I like for my colors to be represented as purely as possible. A smooth surface interferes with the design very little, and the sheen of a metal surface is about as good as it gets for smoothness. Paper can be very smooth, of course, especially photo paper, but paper is subject to many kinds of damage to which metal is impervious. Acrylic has many of the advantages of metal, but it refracts light in ways that I think can detract from my designs.
Even when the edges between the colors in my designs are not sharp, I still appreciate a crisp quality in pieces on metal. I can’t think of any of my digital art that cannot be set off to fine effect by reproducing it on metal. It is my preferred medium almost all the time.
Metal is, for those who must be conscious of it, expensive, but if you can afford, it is always worth the cost for presenting my work, and it will last a long time--although the technology is new, people in the printing industry assure us that it is reasonable to expect metal prints to last for generations.
--Khrysso Heart LeFey
28 February 2018pictured: “Milk Glass Cat’s Eye 1b”
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