The Final Stretch…Latest Course From DIYframing

Whenever you try something for the first time you are wary.  You know what some of the difficulties might be, but other problems catch you broadside, completely unforeseen.  When we start a new training session, we try to minimise these issues, but inevitably things change after the first session. A prime example was on the Frame Finishes course, run for the first time in 2006.  Everything was planned to let people try different products on separate moulding samples.  Everyone was so keen to get started, that they immediately started putting one product on top of another.  The solution was, in the next session, to cut out that tester stage and allow more time for people to build up their own range of “complete” finishes, on a range of moulding chevrons.

However, whether it was the make-up of the group, or the nature of the session, our first run at Stretching and Framing Canvas Based Artwork went really well: apart from the lack of a dynamic course title.  A bit of careful explanation, about how to plan each of different projects, and everybody just got on with it.

The concept behind this day came from our experience with the Framing Fabric courses.  We suddenly started to have people join that training day, who really had very little interest in how to work with cross-stitch and embroidery.  They were looking at stretching larger canvases (mainly photo prints on canvas) and wanted to know how to build those, increasingly fashionable, canvas blocks.  The Fabric Framing days are designed around planning and completing your own project in the afternoon session, having heard all about different methods of preparing fabric based artwork for framing, in the morning. So, for these photography-minded individuals, the afternoon became all about stretching and framing a canvas.

The main problem was that a lot of extra information needed to be passed on informally;

  • How to make a stretcher without using pre-made stretcher bars
  • How to create the blocks where the image “wraps around” the stretcher
  • How to create a tray frame etc

It became increasingly clear that this could be a training day, in its own right.  In fact, what emerged was a day that also attracted people other than purely photographers; although those were in the majority. There was also interest from those who wanted to find out about framing oil and acrylic pieces, painted on canvas. Some others, who wanted to increase their framing skills, anticipating setting up a framing service in the future, also seemed to benefit greatly from the day.

In many ways, it is not the most demanding style of framing: however, with a bit of support and inside knowledge, the results are really stunning. Everybody completed two projects in one day: a stretched canvas block; a framed canvas on a stretcher.  Some took it slightly further, producing a shadow frame.  Here the stretched block is set a little way from the edge of the frame, revealing the image “bleed” around the stretcher and then the narrow moulding edge.

From our point of view, there is not a lot that needs changing, and we are looking forward to the next run, in April, at Beaconsfield.

Why not check the website for more detail?  Click Training Zone: Search Programme and look for Stretching & Framing Canvas Based Artwork.

Posted on: 7 Feb 2007@12:27:05, updated on: 7 Feb 2007@12:27:05.