Professional / Specialist Level Courses

Stretching and Framing Canvas Based Artwork

Course Details: how to stretch and frame canvases

Course Overview

This is a practical one day course all about supporting, attaching and presenting pieces of artwork (including tapestry) and photography that have been produced on unstretched canvas.  We  look at the equipment, resources and skills involved in making stretcher frames, stretching and attaching the canvas art (or fabric) and finishing ready for hanging.  This includes putting a frame around a stretched piece. It forms part of our “professional / specialist level” range of courses.

You can book Stretching and Framing Canvas Based Artwork as a one day course. These will take place on an occasional basis in the main training centres: Beaconsfield, Manchester, Nuneaton. 

This course runs from 10.00 am until 5.00 pm

What previous experience should I have?

It is essential that you have had some experience of using, at least, the basic tools associated with making your own frames.  Therefore it is expected that you will have attended one of our Basics of Framing Courses (or similar).  These assumptions are reflected in the range of terms and references used by the trainers in their instructions. 

What will the course cover?

This day's workshop will suit those who want to try bespoke framing projects and may well be required to stretch and frame canvases of any proportions. It will be most valuable to those specialising in a particular form of artwork involving canvas or fabric based art: oil and acrylic painting; photos printed on canvas; tapestry workers; interior designers.

The session will look at the traditional form of commercial stretchers and hangers as well as mouldings designed especially for making your own stretcher frames. It will cover the process of planning a project based on the dimensions of the artwork to be displayed, building the stretchers, attaching the artwork and adding a "box or tray" frame to one of the two pieces you will make through the day.

Through clear explanation, demonstration and your own "hands on" practice, you will learn about:

  • Planning projects from the artwork
  • Cutting techniques
  • How to join mitred lengths of moulding to create both stretchers and frames
  • Specialised equipment used in stretching and attaching canvas / fabric around a stretcher frame
  • The sequence of steps used in stretching canvas art
  • How to plan, mark up and create a box / tray frame and attach a stretched piece into it
  • Specialist accessories used in attaching stretched canvases into conventional frames
  • Principles for finishing and hanging canvases.
  • Ideas for providing sight edges around the image if no frame is to be attached.

All students will complete two pieces of work - one will be a "gallery wrap" stretched canvas; no frame and is for direct hanging. The second will be a framed, stretched piece.

What do I need to bring with me?

You will need to bring two pieces of artwork (on canvas) for stretching - each one no larger than 400 mm x 550 mm (or similar surface area but different proportions). 

NB You will need a minimum of 75mm spare canvas along each edge of the image - this spare will wrap along the edges and underneath the stretcher frame

If you need a canvas print, visit our Photo / Canvas Transfer service.

Your artwork can be photography on canvas, oil / acrylics on canvas, tapestry or printed fabrics. Note all pieces must be suitable for remaining open to the air as they will not be mounted and framed behind glass.


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