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New Olympic Event

Tres NinosProposal for New Olympic Event

Stretching canvas on stretcher bars should be an Olympic event. And contestants should win double prizes for placing a piece of fiber art work on that canvas—and untold wealth for neat corners.

Here is a short slide show. Click on the slideshow option in the upper right corner.

Notice I carefully excluded any of my facial expressions or the bottle of Advil I needed after completion. The good news, though, is that I gave one of my sons two pieces mounted this way. A friend saw them and now I have a commission.

Briefly, this is what I do.

I make the art work. I attach it to another piece of canvas that is roughly 1 ½ inches larger in all directions by sewing a sashing on each side. The sashing is about 2 inches larger than the piece with an overhang over the canvas. I used black but any appropriate color would work.

I prepare the stretcher bars. A large stapler is really nice (thanks to my husband who bought it for me). Starting in the middle of each side, I turn the sashing under the canvas and staple it. Working from side to side, I staple each side taking care to keep an even tension on the canvas and tucking under the sashing fabric. The best way to finish the corners is to cut a small square of the canvas away—I save these to experiment with stitches—fold and staple.

If I think ahead, I can stitch a label on the back of the backing canvas. The resultant pieces are clean, not fussy, and allow for the piece to read as fabric, not paint. The backing canvas and sashing can be replaced if needed—although I would rather make a new piece.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Tom Humes

    February 10, 2008
  2. Sylvia, excellent tutorial! Love the artwork too … Thanks!

    Linda, being basically somewhat lazy and preferring to use a machine over hand work, I had thought I had stumbled upon an easier way to present my work. My hands told me otherwise. But I do like the way it looks. It’s not stretched so tightly it looses the inherent fiber tactile I find so appealing, but yet it comes across as art and people have to get up close to see it is stitching and not paint or another traditional art media. S

    February 11, 2008
  3. Rhoda #

    I love the look of your stretched canvas, a very professional look.
    Do you sandwich the work in the normal way, or just attach it to the canvas?

    Rhoda, I attached the artwork to the canvas by those sashing strips. Since I use canvas as my underlying background and it’s fairly stiff, the pieces don’t seem to sag. These pieces are all fairly small though. Larger pieces might need some anchoring in the middle parts. S

    February 11, 2008

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