Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Canvas Stretching Techniques (and other mounting suggestions)  (Read 2956 times)

RMB

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19
Canvas Stretching Techniques (and other mounting suggestions)
« on: February 17, 2012, 06:43:42 PM »

Hello again everyone!

I had a look at all of the sub forums below and couldn't find one dealing specifically with mounting/presentation techniques (forgive me if I missed it).  I noticed that there are plenty of seasoned professionals here willing to offer up tips and advice to prevent those of us starting at the beginning from making similar errors in judgment.

I suppose I should mention what my immediate plans are.  As some may recall, I recently purchased a Canon iPF8300 (anxiously awaiting its arrival).  I purchased this with the intention of finally producing my own work in-house.  I am an experienced photographer, and I am very handy and plenty computer savvy (I do a lot of graphic design).  Thus, producing my own work is a natural progression, I believe.

I intend to focus on canvas mounts to start (with optional floater frames).  Lyve canvas and Glamour II (Breathing Color products) will be my materials of choice.  I am very concerned that my archival materials be similarly matched with archival craftsmanship, and so I worry about sagging (don't we all as time goes by? ;)).  I intend to stretch the canvas 'tight as a drum' and use staples to affix it to my 1.75" basswood stretcher bars.  I assume to help prevent sagging that an adhesive should also be used to minimize pressure points caused by the staples that will eventually lead to a slackening canvas.  My question is: what kind of glue?  Any other tips/advice to ensure my gallery wraps are never returned by an unhappy customer?

Also, what other mounting techniques do people here find to be successful with their customers?  I do not own any dry mount equipment.  I am thinking there might be some interest in framed gatorboard or other similarly hard substrate (or frameless mounting on MDF).  What products/techniques are used to mount the art onto these substrates?  I love to research, so any gentle nudges in the right direction are GREATLY appreciated.  I welcome the learning curve, but it's nice to hear what the experienced folk think!

Best,
Ryan
Logged

Johnny_Boy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 133
Re: Canvas Stretching Techniques (and other mounting suggestions)
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 07:47:41 PM »

Stretched canvas is one way to present it. Glue mounted on substrates (like MDF, Gator, Foam, etc) is another.
Do search on Gator foam board and canvas and you will see a lot of posting by Bill T. and Dan Berg. I've learned a lot from them on that process.
Logged

Jim Coda

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 37
    • Jim Coda Photography
Re: Canvas Stretching Techniques (and other mounting suggestions)
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2012, 10:44:45 PM »

Ryan,

The internet is full of great instructions for mounting canvas. My favorite for gallery wraps is here

enduser

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 424
Re: Canvas Stretching Techniques (and other mounting suggestions)
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2012, 01:29:55 AM »

We make a few hundred canvas images on stretcher frames every year.  Below is a summary of how we do it.

A good quality canvas is easier to work with, but customers are usually not interested in the difference, they see a canvas is a canvas.  But then most of our customers are homeowners just looking for decoration.  We also do a bit of "Put your image on canvas" work.

Firstly we use finger jointed bars that just knock together to make the frame.  Several sources supply in 2" increments up to and beyond 84".  Longer ones need a centre brace.

All the bars have slots near the corner to insert a tightening peg.  These are hammered home with a small tack hammer.  We find that it's these pegs that are the only reliable way for us to get a nice tight mounting, not surprising, since the bar manufaturers supply them.  We have some finished works that are over 5 years old and don't sag yet.  If they do sag, you just tap the pegs a little further in.

The hardest part is stapling the corners.  My advice on how to do this is to do what I did and get someone who does dressmaking to show you.  The thing to remember is that what seems tedious or difficult at first, becomes automatic after a while.  We mount a 16" x 24" to completion, starting with a coated print, in about 25 minutes per person.   A practical daily person output is about 12 at that size.  Even a 16" x 40" print doesn't take much longer because even that size still only has four corners.

We staple at about 2" intervals along the sides and more at corners.  Stapling is carried out with the image upside down on a blanket on a table using an electric staple gun and 10mm staples.

The best look for our customers is a wrap around the sides using either "Genuine Fractals" or Ernst Dinkla's Photoshop  actions.  We Use a soft reflection edge.  Using Genuine Fractals you can work on the wrap part to make it how you like because it is a separate layer when first done.

We use "Soft Strand" hangiing wire, held by screwed small ring-and-plate hangars placed on the inside edge of the frame - this ensures a "close to the wall" result.

We spray coat a day after printing (and allow 0.1" extra when printing for a little shrinkage.)  There's only a little shrinkage over two or three days but we see more after a week.

Pricing of course is a bit of guess work until you get a regular turnover.  Look at what other busineses charge and ask  less.  To succeed you need a point of difference which can be price, quality, delivery but for  us the primary point is exposure.  Once we were seen by a regular flow of potential customers the business grew.

If you have a specific question, I'm happy to answer, hope the above is useful.

Hope this is of use.
Logged

RMB

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19
Re: Canvas Stretching Techniques (and other mounting suggestions)
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2012, 09:20:09 AM »

Wonderful replies all!  Thanks as always.

Johnny_Boy, I have been reading Bill T.'s posts since joining, and he was even kind enough to send me a PM when I was struggling with my printer questions.  His recent posts in the large format canvas mount thread about mucking canvas to gatorboard is inspiring.  I hope to give this a try as well!

Jim Coda, that is a great link!  I have read it and saved it.  I have been studying up on the various processes for the past two weeks and feel very confident with what I have learned.

enduser, this is so VERY helpful!  So much useful information in there based on experience, which is so very valuable.  Thank you for taking the time.    

If one were so inclined to glue the canvas to the bars, in addition to stapling, what type of glue would one use?  I have read that gluing can aid in preventing the sagging issues seen when the force of the stretched canvas causes the holes made by the staples to be pulled.  What I envision is applying a small amount of adhesive to the outer edge of the stretcher frame immediately prior to stretching and stapling.  Does anyone do this or would it be wasted effort?

Logged

chaddro

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 113
Re: Canvas Stretching Techniques (and other mounting suggestions)
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2012, 01:15:59 PM »

RMB:

There are two common ways to mount canvas. Stretcher Bars vs Strainer Bars. What enduser describes are Stretcher Bars and are these are best for keeping the canvas taught over time for the reasons he gave. You can keep that canvas nearly drum taught. There is no need to glue the canvas. It won't help in this instance and I can only see it causing trouble over time. How is the canvas going to flex over time?

@enduser: "The hardest part is stapling the corners." Well said!

What type of corners do you make? I have seen a number of different methods, and tried several of them, but still find this troubling to get right or consistent corner to corner. Do you simply fold the corners, or do you cut "excess" canvas out? I've seen "pros" do it both ways, but I'm inclined to believe that no cutting is more future proof against re-stretching if that could ever be necessary. I've been doing only a couple dozen canvas a year to date, but hope to increase that now with my 9890 since I can go much larger.

Speaking of corners, I just found this method that I'll have to try next round. These look really nice and NO cutting: http://www.wunderbars.com/3.html



 



« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 01:37:24 PM by chaddro »
Logged

bill t.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3010
    • http://www.unit16.net
Re: Canvas Stretching Techniques (and other mounting suggestions)
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2012, 01:44:07 PM »

This guy gets the award for outstanding achievement in explicit corner folding.  Scrub up to about 5:00 to see how it's done.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z1tbcpJnKs&feature=related

I would mention only that he is using some rather thin looking canvas, you might not get away with his no-trimming technique using thickish Lyve or such which might leave you with bunched up corners.  Also, I would not have the patience for all that extra tap-tapping, get a good stapler!  And he's tensioning the canvas towards the low end of acceptable, IMHO.

And if you want to retain the use of your finger joints past about age 50 you should use a pliers and a pneumatic stapler.  An air stapler with an inline pressure regulator will get those staples right every time.

In the Andrew Collett section of one of the Luminous Landscape videos there's a fairly easy to see but rather quick demo of how to make some trims to minimize corner bulging.  And every canvas maven needs to see what Andrew is up to in general.

Not sure if trimming will hurt you in the future since re-stretching is always to take up slack, rather than to loosen. 
Logged

chaddro

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 113
Re: Canvas Stretching Techniques (and other mounting suggestions)
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 04:25:02 PM »

Hey Bill!

Yeah, I found that one too. I hadn't noticed he was using a thinner canvas. Very similar to my link above, just a change in the order of which flap goes on top.
"Bunching Up" ... that seems to describe what I've struggled with most. I am using BC Lyve and Chromata White... I wonder if it's weight really makes that much
of a difference.

-chadd
Logged

louoates

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 836
    • Lou Oates Photography
Re: Canvas Stretching Techniques (and other mounting suggestions)
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012, 04:51:28 PM »

I've been supplying my stretched canvas images up to 84" x 24" for my gallery outlet for a few years. Even with careful handling there are some losses due to minor dings from moving, re-hanging, etc.-- normal activities when dealing with customers in a gallery setting. We have lately gravitated to dry mounting (with a special type of tissue) the canvas prints onto foamcore. Since my gallery does large volume framing they then put very attractive moulding around the piece, attach mounting wire, and that's it. This serves as a very stable product customers can handle easily with no damages so far. And because the moulding makes for a larger size and a more finished look than stretched canvas alone, it can and does command a higher retail price. After about four months of going this route with considerable retail success I doubt I will ever supply a stretched canvas again to that market.

Another secret: With the new Epson Satin canvas I need no sealer...especially when there's not a lot of handling of the canvas with the above method. I know there's been some pro-con discussions about not sealing canvasses, but after a dozen or so jobs I'm in the firmly no-sealer camp.
Logged

bill t.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3010
    • http://www.unit16.net
Re: Canvas Stretching Techniques (and other mounting suggestions)
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2012, 05:42:16 PM »

I recently overheard some off-the-record comments from a canvas rep that dry mounting can harden certain of those canvases that do not require coating. Supposedly that's a good thing, the implication was that such dry mounted canvases were more resilient.

Any canvas dry-mounters out there with an opinion on this?

Have noticed that dry mounting canvas flattens the surface texture quite a bit, looks more like an art paper.  Which reminds me that I'm gonna profile some of that Epson Gloss canvas tonight for the 8300.  It sure has a lot of bumpy texture!
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 05:44:00 PM by bill t. »
Logged

Johnny_Boy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 133
Re: Canvas Stretching Techniques (and other mounting suggestions)
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2012, 07:07:36 PM »

Another secret: With the new Epson Satin canvas I need no sealer...especially when there's not a lot of handling of the canvas with the above method. I know there's been some pro-con discussions about not sealing canvasses, but after a dozen or so jobs I'm in the firmly no-sealer camp.
I've been using Canon Satin canvas for a bit, and while it is more scratch proof than Lyve without sealer, it is not as good as either Lyve sealed, or Canon Satin sealed with Timeless. But unless you scratch with your fingernails, typical rub with hands or fingers really doesn't do any damage.

Does Timeless or Glamour II really add any UV protection? That might be the reason to do it, if you think the print would last longer with it.

What adhesive and temperature are you using for the dry mounting?
Logged

louoates

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 836
    • Lou Oates Photography
Re: Canvas Stretching Techniques (and other mounting suggestions)
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2012, 07:40:47 PM »

I can't tell you about the temperature or the adhesive type. I have a separate framer shop doing that part. I can add that the print lies absolutely flat either with a sealer or without and still looks and feels like a canvas.
Logged

Ken Doo

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 990
    • Carmel Fine Art Printing & Reproduction
Re: Canvas Stretching Techniques (and other mounting suggestions)
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2012, 08:31:56 PM »

....
Does Timeless or Glamour II really add any UV protection? ....

Yes---using Breathing Color's Timeless and Glamour II adds UV protection.

ken

bill t.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3010
    • http://www.unit16.net
Re: Canvas Stretching Techniques (and other mounting suggestions)
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2012, 08:57:36 PM »

For dry mounting canvas you want to use one of the several types of tissues that are a film of the adhesive only, minus the paper support that you find with normal dry mount tissue.  The advantage of film-only tissue is that you can double up the thickness for better contact into the canvas weave, overlay pieces at different depths, etc and it will even out like glue under the drymount press.  Very laid back and uncritical.

Examples are Fusion 4000, and I see framingsupplies.com now carries a film-only tissue called BetterMount which I have never used.  There are many others, also check unitedmfrs.com for generic brands.

Heat no more than about 170F for canvas, check the tissue manufacturer's recommendations.  And run tests on reject canvases, definitely.  Problem #1 with dry mounting canvas occurs with badly applied coats that are pooled up in some areas.  Those will get sticky in the press and cause destroyed canvases.  You should also probably use silicone release sheets when dry mounting canvas.

I avoid dry mounting anything.  But the framers I know always dry mount canvas to Gator rather than foamcore, for some reason.  Maybe that's why I'm seeing flattened canvas surfaces on those prints, Gator has much less give than regular foamcore.  I would assume dry mounted canvas on regular foamcore would lay flat provided you weighted them with something like books right out of the press.
Logged

KenBabcock

  • Guest
Re: Canvas Stretching Techniques (and other mounting suggestions)
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2012, 10:14:21 PM »

Yes---using Breathing Color's Timeless and Glamour II adds UV protection.

ken

No.  Timeless does provide UV protection, however, Glamour II does NOT provide UV protection.  Never has.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up