This article is an exploration into the exceptional characteristics, superior quality, and the intricate details of the materials and production process of our Opus Finest Canvas & Custom Canvas.
What makes an Opus Finest Canvas "finest”?
At Opus, the "Finest" brand is only used when we are confident that the product we are making is truly the best possible product available.
Opus Finest Canvas are produced in our custom workshop alongside our hand-made custom canvas, and therefore has the same close, personal, hands-on care throughout production.
In essence, Opus Finest Canvas are pre-selected configurations of popular Custom Canvas options.
How do you ensure the quality of Opus Finest Canvas & Custom canvas?
Each individual canvas is hand-cut and glued, pinned, and when appropriate gussets and cross braces are applied. The media is then stretched by hand and pinned.
This hand stretching process is slower than many large 'stretchers' on the market. However, the slower process allows for the tightest drum, and the best possible quality assessment during production, so we can find any flaws in the canvas (skipped threads or other errors) or the rare occasion when the canvas needs to be removed and re-applied.
Why is it important for an artist to be able to get custom sizes?
Custom sizes can be a requirement for a specific space, or because a composition requires a certain aspect ratio, or you've begun painting larger and larger. Particularly, for larger paintings, the strength, durability ensures that your large painting will maintain it's shape.
Additionally the selection of your media stretched gives an artist the most agency to prepare their surface. Even very good prepared canvas that come with a base primer have a minimally applied gesso that is suitable for some, but not all paintings. For the very best possible work, sizing and gessoing the surface yourself ensures that you have the appropriate amount of surface preparation to reflect the quality of your art.
What materials are used to make Opus Finest Canvas?
Our slim 3/4 inch and deep 1.5 inch stretcher bars and cross bracers are kiln-dried white pine. Depending on the canvas size, 1/8" hardboard and cross braces are applied to prevent warping under the tension of stretching, as well as time.
There are several canvas types available – from lightest to heaviest, all 100% cotton canvas:
- 10 oz. 72"
- 13 duck 63"
- 12 duck 84"
- 10 duck 60" & 72" - our heaviest and strongest canvas
Lastly, we have a 63" Primed Linen, which is a fine hard surface that is wonderful for oil painting.
What is the process for creating a custom canvas?
Our staff cut the selected bars to the precise lengths, measured to a 16th of inch. These bars are glued, pinned, and cross braces and gussets are added if the size requires.
When the glue is dried, the selected canvas material is cut and stretched around these bars by hand using our wide hand clamps, and finally stapled into place.
How long does it typically take to create a custom canvas?
Our current turnaround time is 7 business days or sooner. Size plays a factor, but most of that time is to allow for shipping.
Once the manufacturing is in process, it generally takes 2-3 days to allow for the glues to dry properly. 1 day for the bars, 1 day for the cross braces, and then stretching! This time can change though, depending on the volume of components involved.
What are some common requests or specifications that artists have for their custom canvases?
Recently, outside of an increase in large sizes, and in some cases larger sizes than we officially provide, we occasionally get requests to omit or place the cross braces in a specific manner, or omit gussets.
This does generally comprise the overall integrity, but sometimes access to the back for needle-work is required, or the braces and gussets interfere with specific hanging systems.
Are there any limitations or restrictions on custom canvas sizes or designs?
The various weights of canvas come on different widths of rolls, and the bars can be cut to 96 x 96".
This means you may order an 80 x 80" primed canvas, but since both dimensions exceed the width of our widest roll, you would need to reduce one dimension. Alternatively, you could choose the 12 duck canvas, which is wide enough to make this.
What sets the Opus Finest Canvas & Custom Canvas apart from other options on the market?
Locally, there are only a few small independent producers who could make a custom canvas for you.
For custom canvas sizes at this level of care and quality, plus curated options to support production in Canada, Opus Finest Canvas or Custom Canvas are your best bets.
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