What the ship is for

Heavy-duty canvas should always be stored in a roll.

I of course completely ignored this rule and stored mine all folded up in the top of the closet. That means I got to spend a day or so trying to get it unwrinkled this week. I really wasn’t sure it was going to work.

Here’s the starting point.


I had hoped it would magically unwrinkle after being stretched but…no. So I sprayed it with cold water and let it dry…no. Sprayed it again with warm water and let it dry…getting better.

I finally tested gessoing these two smaller ones that weren’t too wrinkled.


That worked well enough that I tried the others and sure enough the gesso eliminated the last of the wrinkles and they were all drum tight and ready to go.


Then I tackled the panels and finished all of their stringing this week.




The thread is a little hard to see at that angle, but I’m happy with them in person.

It’s another very strange thing to be doing – I definitely feel like the blast shield is down when I’m attempting these – and I’ve been relieved to find that the more I do it, the easier it gets. I also really didn’t want to stop, because I knew if I did, it would be like standing at the top of the high dive.

So this week, here’s to taking that first leap with whatever feels the most intimidating.

In those moments I always think of this old quote (turns out it’s from William G.T. Shedd):

A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.

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