Hangable, durable, incomparable and sustainable -- give your digital images a new look by printing them on wood.
What is It?
A Wood Craft Photo is a digital image that is printed directly onto a piece of wood. I print the image onto a special film, prepare a wood panel with custom gel medium, and then combine leaving the wood grain in the light colored areas of the image showing through. Highlights and smooth textures all take on the texture of the wood grain underneath. Two versions of the same image will look slightly different, as it's impossible to naturally replicate wood grain patterns. The back has a channel routed out so you can slide it onto a hook or screw on your wall.
I use wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This means that there is a chain of custody ensuring that sustainable means of production have been used to deliver a specific wood product. I'm using fine grained, Grade A, Baltic Birch plywood that's 5/8 of an inch thick.
For every Wood Craft I make (and have made) I give $1 to the Forest Stewardship Council. This is for completed Wood Crafts only, so if you're donating just $1, it's going towards the project and not straight to the FSC.
So It's a Photo on Wood?
Yup. It works best with lighter colored photos, though it can be a nifty accent if you have a mostly dark photo with prominent highlights (like a dark tree on a light sky background).
I can print any digital image in .jpg or .png format. I've printed digital paintings and scans of sketches and watercolors before.
Will my Photographs get ruined?
The Wood Craft is made from digital images only. If you have a scan of a photographic print, I can turn it into a Wood Craft Photo, but I can't accept or work with hard copy photographs.
How Does Ordering a Wood Craft Photo Work?
- You choose a panel size (S, M, L, XL)
- Choose which direction you'd like your wood grain to go (up/down or left/right)
- Upload your photo
- It arrives ready to hang
Tell Me About the Rewards
Each reward tier stacks up to the $40 level. So, if you get a medium sized Wood Craft Photo ($72 reward level), you won't get the regular sized one as well ($40 reward level). You will, however, get the previous rewards consisting of a website thank you, PDF comic, Photoshop action, comic print, and postcard. This bundling goes for all rewards $40 and up.
$1- I'll be showing thanks to you by posting your name is a special "Original Backers" section of my site. I never think that's enough for a first tier reward, so I'm also going to email you a high resolution PDF of the comic book panels I use on my site to illustrate the process.
$5- I have postcards to send out that will have your choice of 1 of 5 images that are all related to wood. I've chosen these from my personal catalogue and feel each image is striking in its own way.
$10- I've got a downloadable Photoshop action that allows you to open up an image of wood grain, a digital image of your own and easily combine them to simulate a real life Wood Craft Photo. I'll also include a few wood textures to get you started, as well as instructions.
$25- A high quality, matte paper print of the comic strip elements from my site, visualizing how I make Wood Craft Photos.
$35- I'm offering a higher quality print, but of a limited edition. The print will be glossy photo paper, signed and numbered by the artist Alex Pinter.
$40- from here on out it's Wood Crafts. At this reward level you get a Wood Craft Photo up to 8x12 inches. The short side will always be 8 inches, but you can have the other side be from 8 to 12 inches. This goes for all other Wood Craft Photos.
$72- A Wood Craft Photo with a short side of 12 inches, up to 18 inches wide.
Alternatively, you can opt for a triptych, with each panel 4x8 inches. This is one photo, split evenly across 3 panels.
$120- A Wood Craft Photo with a short side of 16 inches, up to 24 inches wide.
Triptych option: each panel is 6x12 inches. This is one photo, split evenly across 3 panels.
$150- Quadtych special: Four 8"x8" Wood Craft Photos of any combination of images- 1, 2, 3 or 4. This is the easiest way to get multiple Wood Crafts.
$200- Our largest size- a Wood Craft Photo with a short side of 24 inches, up to 36 inches wide.
Triptych option: each panel is 8x116 inches. This is one photo, split evenly across 3 panels.
So What Do You Need?
I've been going to outside print houses to do this, but it's been problematic finding ones who are willing to run custom transparencies through their printers. The process is perfectly harmless, but many print shop owners are wary and don't want risk anything they aren't familiar with. There is also the additional cost of contracting the work out rather than doing it in-house. I want to buy a wide format pigment inkjet printer that can handle at least 24 inch films. In addition to the printer I want to make sure I have spare ink and a warranty, as I don't have the means to repair it myself.
I also need higher quality protective gear. When I cut the wood plaques, I generate a lot more wood shavings than I originally thought and need goggles that protect my eyes better than off-the-shelf units. I've been coating them in my garage and while I use respiratory protection, it's only a simple mask and I need something more heavy duty.
After I get the image onto the wood plaque, they need to cure for 2-3 days. Even with small quantities this adds up to a lot of surface area, and I need to build or buy shelving units that can handle various sizes in a clean place away from my workshop.
So to sum up:
- Large format printer that can handle extra large Wood Craft Photos (24"+ wide)
- Skin tight goggles
- Half-face respirator
- Curing/drying racks
What Happens if You Exceed the Kickstarter Goal?
I have a number of ideas I want to pursue after fulfilling orders made during the Kickstarter. I've heard some desire for other woods, like Maple or Bamboo, blank skateboard decks, and maybe alternative printing techniques like Inkodye (like cyanotypes, if that sounds familiar) or screen printing. Laser engraving, student discounts and artist portals are also concepts that I am very interested in. Stretch goals will be added here if I need them.
Tell everyone you know who has a photo they've always wanted to get framed. Anyone who likes antique style. If you have a friend who likes things rough around the edges, or that have an alternative take on an old idea, this project is for them.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
1. There is a minimum time per unit I make, and if everyone supports me by getting a regular sized Wood Craft Photo, it'll generate a backlog of work that can take longer than the minimum order-to-shipping time. I estimate that if I were to meet my goal with everyone buying at the the regular size Wood Craft Photo, it'd take 3-4 weeks once everything is set up. I do have freelance work outside of Wood Craft Photos, but luckily I work from home.
2. I do not know how long the printer may take to ship to my workshop once I've ordered it. I can update backers with shipping updates from the retailer once I've ordered to keep everyone in the loop.
3. Calibration and workflow testing for printer- I have to make it as color accurate as possible, and this will mean doing a few small Wood Craft Photos until I feel like I've found a balance I'm happy with- printing on wood does change the appearance of the color slightly. I have calibrated printers before and I have help from a local printing guru, so I don't feel like this should take more than a long weekend. However, if the user interface of the printer is tricky, it may take some extra time as I consult with customer support.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.