Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who are you?
We're Greg Hammond and Mary Raffetto. We've known each other for decades and have been life partners for almost ten years. Greg has been a photographer of one sort or another most of his life, and Mary has been an artist since she was a little girl. More about us is over here.
Art is a creative process. Greg’s primary tool is a camera. Long before she was a photographer, Mary was a drawer, a painter, a designer. Her tools were paints, brushes, pencils, objects. And while it is true that art is decidedly in the eye of the beholder, and not all art will appeal to all eyes, the c creative process is grounded in the heart of the artist.
4. I noticed that some of your links in your articles go to Amazon and other websites; do you get referral fees from those links?
We sure try to! Yes, we are an Amazon Affiliate. Our primary purpose in providing those links is to make it easy for people to explore, consider, and possibly purchase equipment and clothing that we have ourselves tried and reviewed. Income from those links, if any, help us to defray the costs of running our gallery.
5. Speaking of money, how can I pay for your artwork?
We can take just about form of online payment other than cryptocurrency, and maybe even that one day.
Our desktop gifts are produced in an acrylic medium we call Claritas for its brilliance, color fidelity, and—yes—clarity. Our Claritas works are individually made in Germany, the only place where we have found the right combination of crystal clear acrylic, and brilliant color printing. Each image is printed with archival ink, usually on metallic paper, which is then bonded to the acrylic. Claritas prints are delivered in a custom-designed presentation box that you will be pleased to receive or proud to give as a gift. Each piece is shipped from Germany to our California office for inspection by us before being boxed and delivered to you.
For our oversize acrylic blocks, such as Vestrahorn and Ultramarinus, we contract with a United States custom fine art printing house to print, bond, polish, and produce our block. Both our German and US printers adhere to the strictest quality standards, and have production facilities that are unequaled.
7. How long will it take for me to receive my art?
Whether a Limited Edition, or open edition Radiant print, or a Claritas gift, none of our artwork is an off-the-shelf Amazon Prime® delivery item. From order to shipment is usually a 10-day process, each step of which you will be kept apprised.
8. How do I take care of my art after I buy it?
All of our work is produced with an acrylic or cloth surface. The best cleaning technique for our Fabrik prints is to dust the surface with a soft, lint-free, dry cloth or feather duster. If your print requires deeper cleaning, use a lint-free, clean cloth with warm soapy water and gently rub the affected areas. Do not immerse in water or use cleaning products as these can damage the material.
Please never clean the acrylic with a glass cleaner, especially any ammonia-based cleaner. The best products are Brillianize and Novus 1. We include a small bottle of Brillianize with each of our shipments.
9. For the acrylic blocks, I've seen other printers that print the image directly to the block; wouldn't that be better?
It sounds better, doesn't it? But the reality is 180º the opposite. That process is cheaper, doesn't employ archival ink, and is more prone to rapid fading if your block is exposed to any light. images printed directly to the acrylic are also prone to appear washed out with any sort of backlighting or bright surfaces behind them. For longevity and brilliance, nothing beats printing to archival paper that is then bonded to the acrylic. This technique is known as face mounting.
10. Will I be able to see the image paper around the edges of the block?
Actually no. If you pick up the block and look at its back, you will naturally see the white paper backing of the archival metallic paper. When you set the block on display, in certain conditions and with darker images, you may also see what appears to be a white edge along the back sides. This effect is known as "light leak" in the trade, and it is due to the thickness of the block, how it was cut, and then polished and finished. This is actually not the white backer but rather the lack of any backing or print at all at the very edge of the polished acrylic. Much like the sliver of distortion in cut glass at an edge, you are seeing the transmission of light in contrast to the color of the dark inks right behind the finished acrylic edge. It appears whether we use white or black paper backing [we've tested it, along with a black frame edge]. We prefer white backing, because it contributes to the glow of luminescence within the image itself. Adding a black frame edge does not diminish the light leak, so don't use a Sharpie® to try to block it! The only way to reduce the light leak is to trim the edges of the print backer long, which is terribly unsightly.
This light leak effect is the only disadvantage of the face mounting technique as compared to direct surface printing. In most settings, particularly where the block is not looked at straight down or straight from the side, the effect is unnoticeable. How you choose to light your block, or the environment in which it is displayed, will also have an effect on how brilliantly its colors appear and their relationship to the light leak, if any.
11. Is there some place I can see your artwork in person?
Yes. We're a bit off the beaten path in the Central Valley of California. A number of our very large pieces are on display at The Downtowner. And, believe it or not, we have art on display at the St. Regis in Bora Bora. We are working on building out our galleries.
Public Gallery AddressThe Downtowner
40 N. Sutter Street
Stockton, CA, USA
Mon - Sat : 9am - 4pm