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Author Topic: Breathing Color crystalline  (Read 1230 times)

PeterAit

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Breathing Color crystalline
« on: March 26, 2018, 09:52:36 AM »

I have been using BC's Lyve for years and love it. They now have a new canvas - or at least I just noticed it - called crystalline. WHen I asked they said it prints just like Lyve but does not need varnishing. In other words, unvarnished crystalline looks like varnished Lyve. Anyone have experience with this?
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Peter
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John Nollendorfs

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Re: Breathing Color crystalline
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2018, 05:24:00 PM »

All canvas' need a protective coating, if you want them to last more than 10 years with out noticeable color change. Most ink receptor coatings are microporous. This allows atmospheric contaminates to degrade the pigmented ink. This is why a sealant coating is highly recommended even if the canvas has a luster or glossy appearance.
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mkihne

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Re: Breathing Color crystalline
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2018, 10:01:40 PM »

I also use Lyve a lot, usually with semigloss overcoat. I’ve done a few semigloss crystaline prints to see if I like it.  The surface seems a little “forward” to me, especially the gloss, but after printing on the semigloss, it sort of “settles” in, probably because I’m coming from Lyve as a starting point. The first canvas I left overnight before stretching. The next two were stretched soon after printing. On the third, I actually tried rubbing some pigment off soon after printing without success.

The look is not Lyve with my usual semigloss overcoat, but is quite acceptable in appearance. These are now “family freebies” which will allow me to follow them along. I’m guessing that unless some short or intermediate term problem arises, people may adopt this canvas because of the time savings.

I could see selling such a product as long as the customer understands how to care for the product. I believe BC claims some UV protection in the coating although how effective beneath the pigment is anyone’s guess.

I don’t consider canvas in any archival sense compared to properly printed and framed images but a reasonable longevity might be expected. After all, we are mounting canvas to wood using staples and possibly tapes or glueing to gator board etc, but I find most if not all of my customers either don’t care or realize that these are not a “forever” product.
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rasworth

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Re: Breathing Color crystalline
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2018, 10:25:40 AM »

mkihne,

Does "without success" indicate the pigment would NOT rub off or vice-versa?  Does the canvas have much texture, or relatively smooth?

Thanks,

Richard Southworth
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mkihne

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Re: Breathing Color crystalline
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2018, 09:11:26 AM »

Hi Richard.

I meant that I had no success in easily removing pigment, my concern being that a certain period of drying might be necessary before mounting as I believe they claim ability to mount soon after printing which appears true. After stretching, I had no ink on my hands.

Regarding my forward comment, the canvas feels somewhat stiffer than Lyve or the equivalent Epson canvas and the surface somewhat “sparkles” with more tooth than a matte or baryta surface. Both somewhat irritated me on first visual appearance, but it stretched in a usual manner and after printing it had the semi gloss appearance I expected.

Overall, I think the final product is presentable and would be acceptable to customers. My initial impressions were largely due to personal preferences and therefore I will not dismiss this product without further observation, pending further review.

I hope you find that helpful as it is somewhat unique in appearance compared to other products that I use. I have no experience with the gloss product.

Mike
« Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 09:14:31 AM by mkihne »
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rasworth

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Re: Breathing Color crystalline
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2018, 01:46:53 PM »

 Mike,

Thank you, I have samples coming.

Richard Southworth
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Jim Metzger

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Re: Breathing Color crystalline
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2018, 05:16:06 PM »

I occasionally use BC Crystalline on a very old Epson 7600. Despite the supplied profile from BC I couldn't get a good color match to the screen.

BC was fantastic, they sent me a test image file with instructions on how to print without color management. I  sent this back to them and they created a custom profile which works beautifully. I do coat the canvas with their Timeless coating and an inexpensive HVLP sprayer. Took a little practice and their videos are really informative. My clients have the images in a family room adjacent to the kitchen and I wanted extra protection.
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Yvan Bedard

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Re: Breathing Color crystalline
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2018, 10:04:48 PM »

I use both Lyve and Crystalline Satin and sell my photos to top-tier art gallery with success. I like the texture of both canvas, as do the clients of the gallery. Crystalline isn't archival quality like Lyve, but I have printed many large prints (up to 24 x 84 inches) and hot-pressed them. Never had a problem.

It is a big time saver no to have to varnish it !

I've used Crystalline for at least 5 years now and it is my most used canvas.
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Yvan
Fine-art landscape photographer in Quebec City, Canada
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mearussi

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Re: Breathing Color crystalline
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2018, 07:43:26 AM »

BC used to offer a printed sample book of all their papers. You might ask if they still have it.

I don't care for the look of Crystalline as it has a very coarse sandpaper like surface texture that is very reflective. Coated Lyve looks a lot better as it has a much smoother surface. And despite what anyone says you absolutely must coat all paper/canvas since the microporous surface must be sealed against environmental pollutants to ensure maximum life. 
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mkihne

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Re: Breathing Color crystalline
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2018, 09:34:29 AM »

I use both Lyve and Crystalline Satin and sell my photos to top-tier art gallery with success. I like the texture of both canvas, as do the clients of the gallery. Crystalline isn't archival quality like Lyve, but I have printed many large prints (up to 24 x 84 inches) and hot-pressed them. Never had a problem.

It is a big time saver no to have to varnish it !

I've used Crystalline for at least 5 years now and it is my most used canvas.

Yvan,

I agree with your assessment. It’s good to know that your canvases remain presentable after five years as my experience is shorter than that. I think the determining factors for me are the elimination of the spraying step and ease of mounting equal to sprayed Lyve.

Without those considerations I would have no reason to switch from Lyve with Timeless overcoat, which remains my preferred method, which is arguably more archival (whatever that means when mounting canvas over wood stretcher bars).

Risking diverting the topic, does anyone have feedback on Wraptek stretcher bars(or a slightly different BC or IT stretcher bars) vs conventional wrap. I like the smooth corner look but I have to be careful with the fold at the corner margin.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 09:52:24 AM by mkihne »
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mkihne

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Re: Breathing Color crystalline
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2018, 09:48:18 AM »

BC used to offer a printed sample book of all their papers. You might ask if they still have it.

I don't care for the look of Crystalline as it has a very coarse sandpaper like surface texture that is very reflective. Coated Lyve looks a lot better as it has a much smoother surface. And despite what anyone says you absolutely must coat all paper/canvas since the microporous surface must be sealed against environmental pollutants to ensure maximum life.

Hi mearussi,

The sample book was still available last fall when I received mine.

Lol, your description of crystalline is spot on compared to mine above. I do some woodworking and if I close my eyes my hand tells me I have a sheet of 180 grit sand paper. I share your maximum life requirements but may use crystalline in limited instances with the appropriate caveats. To my eye, once mounted the glittery appearance is subdued somewhat.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 09:52:02 AM by mkihne »
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mearussi

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Re: Breathing Color crystalline
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2018, 01:29:35 PM »



Risking diverting the topic, does anyone have feedback on Wraptek stretcher bars(or a slightly different BC or IT stretcher bars) vs conventional wrap. I like the smooth corner look but I have to be careful with the fold at the corner margin.
I've used both and both are manufactured by GoFrame in Canada. They work really well, look good and are very easy to put together. Just don't use the small cheaper bars for anything over 11x14 as they warp really bad. I buy mine directly from GoFrame now as they have a different line than BCs or itsupply and are easier to work with. It's also a little cheaper.

 https://www.goframe.com/

This is the line you want: https://www.goframe.com/gallery-wrap-1500p-stretcher-bars/

Their videos are also very good.
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Yvan Bedard

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Re: Breathing Color crystalline
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2018, 09:31:55 AM »

I agree with your assessment. It’s good to know that your canvases remain presentable after five years as my experience is shorter than that.

Without those considerations I would have no reason to switch from Lyve with Timeless overcoat, which remains my preferred method, which is arguably more archival (whatever that means when mounting canvas over wood stretcher bars).


Hi Mkihne,

I have sold Crystalline canvas since they came out (2011) but the ones I have at home (and can testify they are like freshly-printed) are about 5 years-old or younger. Being in Quebec City, weather indoors is between 20C (70F) at 40% humidity in winter and 27C (80F) at 80% humidity in summer. I live in the countryside without urban pollution. You said that your experience is different, what is your environment?

I also prefer Lyve + Timeless varnish for the texture and the longevity. I have one in my bathroom where there is a lot of humidity when we take a shower or bath (fog on the mirrors) and it is like freshly printed after 4 years. However, I work more when I varnish and I ask $100 more for archival quality Lyve + Timeless for 24x36. Most people buy non-archival non-varnished Crystalline prints.  However, it is different for prints on fine art paper where they mostly want archival paper because they have all seen yellowish photos of their childhood.

Regarding Crystalline, BC's web site claims that "Crystalline has been longevity tested and the results are as follows:  When no varnish is applied, Crystalline has a life span of approximately 55 years before deterioration may begin." I tend to trust them as I've always received great service and advices from them, and their products are top quality IMHO.

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Yvan
Fine-art landscape photographer in Quebec City, Canada
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Yvan Bedard

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Re: Breathing Color crystalline
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2018, 09:50:44 AM »

Hi mearussi,

Lol, your description of crystalline is spot on compared to mine above. I do some woodworking and if I close my eyes my hand tells me I have a sheet of 180 grit sand paper. I share your maximum life requirements but may use crystalline in limited instances with the appropriate caveats. To my eye, once mounted the glittery appearance is subdued somewhat.

Hi Mearussi and MKihne,

Right! Furthermore, the texture is not as regular on Crystalline than it is with Lyve. However, I find that people "love" this canvas structure as they feel it looks like a painting with my photographs (minimalist winter scenes of rural areas).

I have exhibited photographs of various types of scenes and printed on various medium (canvas, fine art paper, photo paper, acrylic, aluminium) and canvas is preferred (about 95% of my sales).

I have talked with other nature photographers in Canada and the US where aluminium and acrylic seem very popular, but my experience is the opposite.

My colleagues in Europe use a lot of fine art paper. My selling experience with fine art paper is good only for smaller photos.

My clients come from all over the world, in particular from California and Texas, and they all react the same way.

IMHO, the obvious texture of Crystalline is a selling point (Lyve texture is also excellent). Both of them have the texture of a canvas, i.e. not a smooth surface like photo paper.

I'm not saying that it is the best for all types of scenes, but for my photos it works very well. Many clients think they are paintings !
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Yvan
Fine-art landscape photographer in Quebec City, Canada
http://yvanbedardphotonature.com
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