Stretching a High Quality Canvas
I gathered some of my best supplies to stretch a beautiful canvas today. I used some copper tacks and a really nice tack hammer and some A E Art Canvas primed lead oil ground. The tacks that I used to stretch this canvas are nice, but they're not the best that I have. The tacks that I used are the Paris Professional Canvas copper tacks and some of them got messed up while I was hammering them (photo 3 in gallery below). I also have some copper nails made by Chauvin, which are made in France and I plan to test out soon. The hammer that I like is a C. S. Osborne & Co. uphoslterer's hammer. C. S. Obsorne & Co. has been making tools since 1826.
It's great to use high quality materials, but sometimes it makes it a little intimidating to work on. I always have to remind myself "Yes, this canvas is beautiful, but I'm going to paint on this and if I mess it up, it's OK." Treat your materials with respect and don't be wasteful, but remember that they're not sacred idols either.
Had a good time today painting this new still life. I'm going to do some more to get ready for my still life class at the Teaching Studios of art.
I had a restoration project that I enjoyed doing today. This original half Jullian easel (made in France 🇫🇷) needed a little TLC with some metal polish, WD-40, Butcher's wax and leather conditioner. The first thing I did was polish up the metal components. Then I used Butcher's bowling alley wax because the wood was dry. Some of the wood also needed a fine grit sanding. The last thing I did was apply something called "sno seal" to the leather handle. You could also use Leather CPR or another product to condition the leather.
These photos don't do justice to this beautiful easel. I think if I hadn't become a painter then I would have liked to have been a furniture maker or woodworker. I've always enjoyed working in wood shops, maybe in my next life..
As a passionate en plein air painter, my tools are something that I take real pride in. I was recently able to purchase two original Jullian easels from when they were still made in France. It's hard to know the exact date on these beautiful easels, but they are in very good condition. I purchased a full size and a half size and I need to do a small amount of restoration to the half size easel.
Sadly, after 100 years, Jullian stopped manufacturing their legendary French easels in their Paris France factory. Jullian has now begun importing their products from China. From accounts that I've read, customers have been complaining about the diminished thickness of the wood, cheaper hardware and other complaints as to the reduced quality.
The quality of the original French easels is phenomenal; they are heavy duty and designed to last. Even the palette inside is solid wood and would be hard to find today. I firmly believe that using quality equipment has a significant impact on your final outcome. I hope that companies will take pride in their craftsmanship in the future as they did in the past.