One of the best kept secrets of canvas stretching, and a question i'm asked over and over again is "how do I fold canvas corners"?
When I first started stretching canvas, it was the hardest and most elusive aspect of canvas stretching. Do you cut the corner? Do you fold it like a bed sheet? How the heck do people get the fold so straight? I couldn't for the life of me work it out. It was as if people we initiated into a weird "folding club" and I wasn't invited!
However, One day I decided to do what most men refuse to do. I asked someone...
It was like I'd been presented with the golden chalice. The holy grail of canvas stretching. And was I going to share this new found knowledge? Not on your nelly was I. I'd been included in a club that so very few people had been invited. I was the Paul Daniels (I'm not very tall) of the canvas stretchers magic circle. The David Copperfield of Stretching. I was going to practise a magical canvas stretching technique passed down over the ages to only but a chosen few and prove my worth amongst the circle.
I imagined the sly winks and tips of the imaginary Fedora to all of the other canvas stretchers I knew. I could now pass off the "well its quite simple really" comments to all who I demonstrated to. Like some speed Origami Sensei, i'd deftly fold the corner, so fast I'd leave people gasping and scratching at their heads as they tried to unravel the mystery that surrounds that of the corner fold.
However, about five minutes in my fantasy filled corner folding utopia, it struck me. There's no REAL, right or wrong to folding canvas corners. All this time I'd been kidding myself that my neatly folded bed-sheet "hospital" corners were the scourge of the stretching world, where-as all I needed to do, was be shown. My hospital corners were fine. People bought them. No one complained. It was me that never thought that they were "quite right". I needed to find out how to fold them differently, and that's just what I did. I found out. And I practised. I practised until it just became second nature.
Like riding a bike, when you "get it", folding canvas corners is easy. There's no magical way. There's no "Circle of canvas stretchers". People just got shown. People just practised. As long as your customer is happy with the corner folding you've used for for stretching your canvas, then you should be happy with your corner folding.
If you're like me though, if you have a desire to straighten up your corners and learn a new technique this "how to fold canvas corners guide" will let you know how I was taught. I don't cut the corners and never have. I am of the school where stretched canvas's should be fully reversible and cutting someone's highly prized artwork, for me, isn't nice. So if this technique helps you out, next time we meet, give me a tip of your Fedora and a sly wink (a business like sly wink mind, I am married). I may go off into my corner folding utopian state, but at least i'll know i've helped!
Alternatively, just leave a comment and say thanks.......
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Tim Jones is one of the three owners of Wunderbars Limited. He's a little bit (very) obsessed with canvas stretching.