Stone Coal Studio

Stone Coal Studio

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Stretching a Large Canvas: the Right Tools Make the Difference

(Proper tools to stretch canvas.)

In preparation for an upcoming show in the spring of 2017,  I needed to stretch a large (36 x 48 inch) canvas. With the assistance and carpentry skills of my husband, sturdy stretcher bars and bracing were cut and assembled.

(The bracing both in the center and corners is necessary to keep such a large canvas square.)

After measuring and cutting the canvas, I began to stretch the canvas over the frame.  The tools needed are a pair of canvas pliers to hold the canvas tight and a staple gun to secure to canvas to the frame.  Heavy duty staple guns are very hard to squeeze.  I often go to the light weight one once my hard begins to hurt using a hammer to finish getting the staple into the wood.

(Canvas ready to stretch over the frame on my work table.)

However thinking about the large size of this canvas made my hand throb before I even started.  Then after a search on the internet we discovered that there is an electric staple gun!  It was reasonably priced and quickly purchased for this canvas.

(Canvas nearly finished thanks to my new electric staple gun.)

After I figured out the combination of the electric staple gun and canvas pleirs,  the canvas was attached quickly without any pain.  I did still use the hammer to finish off the staples, not to hammer them into place.

(Canvas is finished.  Sample of heavy-weight canvas is draped over it. 
Next step is to apply gesso the canvas to prepare it for the paint.)

Now that I know that making a large canvas is very doable, it is time to begin working on the painting itself with drawings, studies, color samples and whatever else is necessary to work in such a large format.
So it is indeed true that you need the right tools for the job.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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