Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Canvas Stretching

Stretched a canvas today. Important lessons;
1. Use two people if possible, one to pull and one to staple.
2. Pull then lever with the canvas pliers.
3. Once done, you can remove and retry staples to get them perfect.
4. Don't staple into the joints! The stretchers should be allowed to move.
5. Cut the corner material... not sure when the best time to do this is. Folding and stapling the corners would violate rule 4, so it seems that thick canvas must be cut.
6. Insert wedges (see note).

I was not sure how to manage with a central crossbar. It interferes with the principle of stapling in the middle first because the bar gets in the way of the levering when using pliers. Today I stapled just to the right of it, then just to the left, treating those two as one.

The results are now very tight. I inserted the wedges before priming and painting. The correct method is (apparently) to insert them after painting to tighten things up, in case the priming and paint caused slackening, however the canvas wasn't tight enough without them, and I'd like a taut surface for the Golden GAC400 I'll apply. GAC400 is an acrylic medium that makes surfaces flatter and more rigid. Applying that to a slightly loose surface that is to be stretched later seems like a bad idea because the GAC400 will want to fix the canvas in shape.

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