31 March 2009

Preparation of stretchers

Before I go any further, I would just like to say,
to any misdirected web surfer, that this is not
a 'how to' site, but you can find all the very
useful and correct information if you visit
Sue Vesely , which I did this morning,
after embarking on my own, personal,
canvass stretching adventure.

Having bought 2, 12' lengths of, finished, 1"x2"
wild pine, from the local builders yard, and then
setting T to work with his power saw, cutting
the 45' exactly measured angles. (I know this
because I bought a protractor specially,
once I remembered what it was called, and then
spent an interminable amount of time
marking them out. I did suggest he may
want to use a table and a vice but he seemed quite
happy and confident working bent over the old
breadfruit tree root in the yard)
My initial mistake became apparent,
having sanded down the now cut up lengths,
nothing what so ever to do with the precision
cutting of the power saw operator, or the fact
that one of the lengths of wood was thicker than
the other, oh no, the problem apparently lay
with the angles.
Undeterred, and spurred on by brute force
and determination, the industrial stapler and I
joined forces until, give or take a gap or two,
the wild pine was tamed into something vaguely
I now turned my attention to the fact that I did
not have any edging, not having studied
Sue Vesely's excellent site until my return
from the builder's yard.

Cutting off the pelmet of one of the bamboo blinds
seemed to me to be the best, free and immediate
course of action and, I have to say, the little strips
seemed to work admirably, all things considered,
although wood glue would, most probably, have
been more efficient than the PVA School glue that
I found in my tool box.

Spurred on by this success, and having finally
located the canvass, (yes, safely put away in a
black plastic bag, which is where we put things
if we don't want them to get damp or eaten, and
I only had to open four bags before I got to the
canvass and I did find that lovely fabric that I
bought last year, anyway, I digress,) and having
searched endlessly for my scissors before recalling
that my father-in-law had borrowed them to
trim the clumpy fur from his poodle, I was
delighted to discover that the kitchen scissors,
performed wonderfully well, and the end result?

All primed and ready for action.


  1. Beautiful canvases, but aren't they time consuming? I am always very afraid of wasting them with a painting that doesn't work.............

  2. Hi BlissHill, I know what you mean, I feel like that about shop bought ones but these, ...... well it was something of a miracle that they turned out looking the way they do, so I'm putting similar faith in whatever happens when the paint hits them.


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