Sunday, 3 February 2013


I mentioned the word 'melding' in my last post, I thought it might be interesting to show what it means for me.

Free form work by its very nature has different edges formed by the varying fabrics used, some maybe  torn, loosely woven  and some meticulously hemmed, the area where these  fragments join don't sit well on the canvas. One answer is to hang the piece without a mount or to sew it to a background, but I like contemporary block canvases and have come up with this way of finishing my work without having that 'plonked' on look.

I start by sewing the piece to the canvas all over (a stitch every inch or so) and then round the edges. This is where some areas are still proud of the canvas. I use a brush and Matte Medium gel for the thinner fabrics really brushing out the fibres to meld with the background. For thicker fabrics think 'polyfilla' only this is modelling paste which I use with a dental toothpick.

I work the paste into any raised areas and wipe off any excess with a damp finger.

I go over any filled areas with matte medium.

I then add any finishing touches to the canvas, in this case gently distressing the edges with a little dilute burnt umber and coating all the visible canvas with the matte medium.

 These two pieces were made a few years ago but I was formulating my way of 'melding' even then, the edges look quite crude compared to my current method.
It's all a learning process. 
Cough mixture and paracetamol in hand I'm off for an early afternoon nap to dream up my next mini project.


  1. Thanks for that............Ive felt a couple of my pieces had the plonked on look but I too like a block surface as backing.
    This is really helpful thanks so much !

  2. The melding really helps to integrate the work with the canvas.

  3. Ways of mounting textiles onto block canvas are fascinating - this one particularly so.