Every step of this project is an experiment. Last night I purchased a yard of muslin, dug out a box of copper tacks and went to work covering this bird.
Covering kayaks and canoes is always an adventure. It always amazes me that with enough twisting and pulling, tacking and tack pulling a skin can me forced to conform to a hull shape.
I was not at all sure that I could pull a fabric skin tight on a bird shaped form.
The great news is that it is possible. In fact is isn’t that hard, but I did manage to miscut a piece and run out of fabric before I completed the job. That’s alright, I found a few bumps on the skin that warranted some sanding re-arranging below decks. I also managed to know a piece of the framing within the head loose and could not get at it without skin removal.
I made a huge breakthrough. In tacking kayak canvas I always needed three hands — one to hold a hammer, another to position tacks and a third to hold the skin tight. (I eventually adopted monel staples and a staple gun.) In working with this bird I discovered that a bead of AC adhesive (professional superglue) on the frame will freeze the fabric in position. It only take one hand to run a glue applicator. I love copper tacks, though, and will also tack the seam down.
I love the way that the light looks passing through the fabric and frame. I anticipated this light play and added details to the ribs (the points and holes) to enhance this. Unfortunately much of this will be lost when he’s painted.
I’m picking up fabric tonight and going at this again. Photos to follow soon.
There have been a few questions about why I am creating this beast. Details will follow soon. The second is beginning to emerge from my sketchbooks.