You may remember Vickey Williams of Mountain Dreamworks in Ketchum, Idaho, and her recent Sagebrush Cowboy Ball project. That’s not the only interesting application she’s been working on. Recently, Williams has been using Sunset Select Matte Canvas in a unique way: to print outdoor fine art photo banners.
Williams first started using Sunset Select Matte Canvas as a fine art banner when the supplier she’d been using for cotton and silk fabrics went out of business. “I had to find another solution and I started playing around with the canvas and thought, ‘What would happen if I splashed water on this untreated canvas?’ That’s when I started experimenting with it.”
She needed to know that whatever material she used would hold up against the unpredictable Idaho climate. “Now mind you I live at about 6,000 feet,” Williams explained, “So we get quite a bit of snow. We have seasons with rain, snow, sun, wind, dust and ice… we get everything here.”
To make sure the canvas would hold up and maintain the look of the photos printed on it Williams put the canvas through a long test. “I started by cutting printed test strips and hung them outside,” she explained. “Throughout the year I didn’t see any fading and the archival ink on my Canon iPF8100 did not run. Without any protective coating the ink would start to come off if I rubbed the canvas when it was wet, but knowing most of the photo banners would not be handled I thought this just might work.”
Williams decided to sew hems for pole pockets and went to a local welding company to fashion a 12″ x 12″ x 1″ steel plate with a loop in the middle for attaching the banner wire. “This added a final touch to secure the banners in place and added a rugged rustic look to our fine art photo banner presentation,” says Williams.
Williams wasn’t the only one pleased with the outcome of the banners. Her customers really seem to like them too, though she admits they may not work for everyone. “I can’t compete with the people who do vinyl, but the people who want a canvas look, and a more organic look, are not only fine with it, they love it.”