Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Little Things

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It’s odd how little things can change your perception of people or places. To finish off my print on canvas I still need to tighten/straighten the canvas’ frame a little and varnish it. To do that I had to buy the tools needed for the process first. And apart from the varnish – matte acrylic varnish – which is available in convenient spray cans that presumably even enable klutzes like myself to apply it reasonably evenly, I needed little wooden wedges for this.

In fact, learning about those wedges was a bit disappointing. So far I had considered canvases to be fairly mysterious and fancy material. And while they are more of an effort than a piece of paper is, they turned out to be rather unmysterious: You can just buy edges of the frame in the lengths you want which you stick together. And then you staple the canvas on the frame. I was shocked when first seeing this done as very little care was taken to make this precise. But then I learned that as the canvas is going to get wet while being processed for the photo (or also while being painted), it is going to go out of shape anyway.

And thus there are little wedges which you can force into little holes in the canvas frame after everything is done and has dried to straighten the canvas out. No magic there, but apparently it works. And thus I needed those wedges – little pieces of wood basically. In the process of getting them I learned that they are often sold together with the frame and that thus they are not available on their own. As I didn’t buy the frame myself and I didn’t have any of those wedges, that didn’t help me much.

Back view of the frame without the wedges

But luckily one of the hobby / arts stores just had a big pile of those wedges laying around, so I picked up eight of them (two for each corner of the frame) and went to pay. At first they were a little irritated because you are supposed to buy those together with the frame pieces that were on the shelf just next to them and they didn’t quite see why I’d want some without a frame. After telling them the story about my frame without those wedges, they shrugged and let me have them for free. Which was nice.

I guess that wasn’t a big deal for them, as those little pieces of wood probably come at a few Cents apiece. It even seemed like it might have been tricky for them to enter those into their register because people get them for free with frames. But still, the movement seemed so natural for them that it left an impression and I’ll remember the place when I next need such stuff. Much more of an impression than some big corporation giving me a ‘present’ worth a hundred times as much when I open an account with them say. It seems more about the gesture and naturality of it all than the value.

Back view of the frame with the wedges inserted

After having inserted the wedges now, the image has become reasonably but not perfectly straight. It seems that the application of the photo emulsion has fixed the canvas in a slightly bent shape. As I don’t want to break things by using a lot of force, I’ll have to whether I can perhaps wetten the canvas again to straighten things out even more.

February 13, 2007, 0:38

Tagged as photos.

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