Made in the Shade: Fine Art Paper Adds an Artsy Finish

Getting a glimpse into Michael Macone’s world is a crafty art-lover’s dream. Macone runs The Potter’s Shed in Shell Lake, Wis., a cool art gallery-meets cafe-meets do-it-yourself art space-meets music venue. “It’s 50,000 square feet of art fun,” he says. He also runs Macone Clay, where he creates all sorts of clay projects including lamps, bowls, cups, plaques and much more.

One of Macone’s most popular items is the artsy lamps, which are almost entirely created in-house. The wood base is made in the woodshop, the body is extruded clay that’s manipulated while it’s still wet. The shade is printed on LexJet Sunset Textured Fine Art Paper 310g.

When he first began making the lamps, he was purchasing shades from a home supply store and hand-painting each one. “That was a lot of fun for a while … but the painting was arduous and stressful,” he says. “We had to be careful not to over-saturate the paint, and eventually it turned into a big bother rather than fun.”

But the lamps, which sell for $225, were gaining popularity, and he needed a solution. That’s when he came across printed lamp shades at a wholesale event, and decided to give it a try. “It was a big learning curve getting the template in the digital realm, but we figured it out,” he says. He was working with a different brand of paper, which was fine, he says, but his LexJet rep introduced him to the Textured Fine Art Paper, and he made the switch.

“It ended up being thicker and felt better on the frame,” Macone says. “It looked noticeably better, which surprised us. When we compared it – the color just snapped more.”

Macone’s lamp shade designs start sometimes as pencil sketches or photos or paintings that he manipulates in Photoshop to get the final design that pairs best with the lamp’s body, which is painted and enhanced with melted glass that drips elegantly down the edge.

He offers four lamp base styles and 20 shade options, and sells about 500 lamps a year through YouNeedArtNow.com, in The Potter’s Shed gallery and at art fairs around the country.

A long-time LexJet customer, Macone also uses his Epson wide-format printer to create collages with sweet artwork and sayings that are adhered to wooden plaques. For those, he opts for LexJet Premium Archival Matte Paper, which he finishes with a UV coating that he also utilizes for the lamp shades.

“It’s a good quality photo paper that we’ve been using for a couple of years,” he says. “We always have lots of colors [in our designs] and just have a lot of fun with the art.”

Prints That Win: Blowing Out of a Creative Funk

A small junk store in Rio, Nevada was the last place Kelly Zimmerman expected to capture her Sunset Print Award-winning image, “Blowing Out of a Creative Funk.” However, she was instantly captivated by the old fans sitting in the store window.

“[The store] had this little display set up, and I loved the concept of all of these fans. I don’t know why, it just drew me in,” Zimmerman says. “The image alone wasn’t much to speak of, but I was just inspired by the fans with the crumpled papers.”

All New Fire Ratings for LexJet Media

CFrom canvas and backlit film to wall murals and laminates, LexJet media have received fire ratings adding yet another benefit to these versatile wide-format products.

Sunset Production Satin Canvas SUV received a Class A fire rating. This 100% polyester canvas is OBA-free and delivers a high-end feel and traditional canvas texture. Compatible with eco-solvent, latex, solvent and UV-curable inks, this US-made canvas is ideal for canvas wraps.

Sunset Select Matte Canvas received a Class B fire rating. A best-selling canvas option, SSMC is an award-winning, poly-cotton blend with a consistently wide color gamut.

Prints That Win: Oriental Inspiration

On the day this Sunset Award-Winning photo was taken, photographer Steven Yahr was at a bridal portrait photoshoot. “The bride wasn’t there yet,” says Yahr, “and the image evolved from that scene.” The simple elegance of the shot is true to his signature style.

“I just did a program for a group in New York, showing some of the processing I do in photoshop to make images look different from rest,” he says, “I noticed that on almost all my images that have done well, they’re simple subjects that have an artistic flare to them.” He believes that balance of painterly backgrounds with simple subjects is ultimately what makes his images stand apart from the rest.

Make My May! Tons of Printer Rebates to Choose From

It’s a new month, and that means we’ve got another round of rebates, special pricing and deals on printers and media from our partners at Canon, Epson and HP. These rebates, special offers and pricing deals are valid through May 31, 2017, unless otherwise noted.

CANON Instant Rebates

Canon PRO-Series 4000

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4000, 44-inch printer: $500 plus free set of 160ml inks with printer purchase

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4000S, 44-inch printer: $200 plus free set of 160ml inks with printer purchase

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-6000S, 60-inch printer: Free set of 160ml inks with printer purchase

Café Décor Redux: Honoring Marc Chagall’s Vision

When Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Fla., decided to renovate its café, the designers wanted to pay homage to painter Marc Chagall’s dreamy vision of life and the quaint French town where he spent his final years. The redesign was timed with the gardens’ exhibit, Marc Chagall, Flowers, and the French Riviera: The Color of Dreams.

Known as the “City of Arts,” Saint Paul de Vence attracted artists of all types with its charm. The town’s Colombe d’Or Hotel & Restaurant was the inspiration for Selby Garden’s cafe revamp.

The café’s original wall décor included a series of framed botanical prints in dark, heavy frames. The re-design team removed the dated-looking prints and opted for a full wall mural, with a subtle backdrop of Saint Paul de Vence, France, overlaid with carefully selected Chagall quotes that captured his sensitive and introspective insights.

Working with print service provider, Now That’s a Wrap, the Selby team chose to cover the interior and exterior walls with LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl and Simple Flo Wrap Gloss UV laminate. The team also mimicked Chagall’s stained glass work by printing extra-saturated graphics on optically clear vinyl with an over-laminate, all mounted to plexiglass.

Watch the video above to see how the café’s new look came to life.