Thursday, March 31, 2016

It's Not Done Until You Put on the Dust Cover

Tools I used for finishing off the backs of my art work

I am always on a quest to bring my art to a higher level and there are steps to finishing off your artwork once it is created. These last steps are just so important to the presentation of your art and in many cases are often ignored.   My good artist friend Lily shared with me recently how she had observed that a framing shop she had patronized used a fabric as the dust cover to the pieces they framed.  This dust cover consisted of the black fabric that you find underneath your upholstered furniture and that she was switching from using paper (which easily tears) to using fabric to cover the back of all her work.

I ordered a bag of this upholstery material from Amazon and yesterday was my first opportunity to give it a try.  It turned out to be somewhat of a two man project to get the fabric attached but all in all I'm pretty pleased with the ending results.  When we opened the bag and got a closer look at the fabric we realized this looked very similar to a large roll of landscape fabric that we have.  I'm going to give that a try next to see if it works as well.  If so, the local garden store or hardware store may be my new supplier.

I first laid down a thin layer of adhesive using my Scotch brand Advance Tape Glider gun to the 4 sides of the canvas and in my case down the center support bar.  All of the pieces that I was working with yesterday measure 24 x 36 and I had 4 of them to finish off.  

Then my husband guided the long edge of the canvas to match the finished edge of the fabric while I held up the rest of the canvas to prevent it from sticking.  Once he had laid his edge down and was satisfied the everything was lined up, he took the canvas and held it while I stretch and smoothed the rest of the surface as tight as I could.  Happy with how the fabric was going to lay we dropped the other three sides onto the fabric so that the adhesive and fabric were now united.  We pressed down firmly all the sides assuring that the bond was good.

Now came the fun part.  Using my Fiskars fingertip craft knife,  I proceeded to cut the 3 edges, careful not to cut the canvas or myself in the process.  Logan makes a special dust cover trimmer that I plan to try out but the Fiskars cutter worked sufficiently for this job and I got a little more proficient at the process with each new piece.

We then flipped the piece over and my husband then used a staple gun to apply a staple at each corner while I prepared the certificate of authenticity that was to be attached.  I cut a 3 hole sheet protector in half and remove the holes to make a sturdy plastic sleeve that holds my certificate nicely and then I attach it to the back of my artwork using my Scotch Advanced Tape Glider gun.  We decided to allow the one corner staple to secure the certificate just to make sure it would stay attached and not fall off.  As you know when you are transporting artwork, no matter how careful you think you are being, there is always a problem with tags and dust cover paper being torn or falling off.  I feel that this fabric is much more durable and I like the professional way it looks.  

Now it's time to add the D-rings and hanging wire.  I measure 1/3 the way down on the canvas to install the D-rings and I use size 4 soft hanging wire.  I bought a large spool that measures 850 ft on Amazon and am so happy with that investment.  I hate the quality of the wire that you can purchase at the local craft and hardware stores and when you paint as much as I do, those small packages are always running out.  With 850' of wire,  I think I might have enough wire now to last me through the zombie apocalypse.

I would love to hear from you if you have questions or found this article helpful or if you have tried other products or have a process you think works better for finishing off your artwork.  I might include your information in a future blog post.  Leave me a comment here or email me.  Also feel free to check out my website for all my available artwork at Julie Townsend Studio or my Etsy Store at Julie Townsend Studio Etsy Store

To make this supper easy for you, I have included all the links to the tools and supplies I used :

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