• Chrissie Calvert

A Side Project

I miss the textured feeling of Hessian.


There is one major problem I find when I am painting Hessian. That problem is priming the material. Hessian is very thirsty. It drinks up so much paint, which can make for very expressive effects, but if expressive effects isn't the goal, it's a hassle.


Imogen Taylor backs her hessian with linen and then primes the stretched surface with transparent primer. Now, transparent primer is out of my budget so I got to thinking, what would I use to substitute this?


Wax? -No, the paint would scratch off.

Gladwrap? -No, that would loose the natural primal feel.

Varnish? -No, too expensive.


And then I thought of Glue. Some glues' dry clear, and most glues dry hard. I had to try.

So as a mini break from my cave, I have hung up some hessian in the doorway, (so it doesn't stick to anything), and have primed some of it's surface with wood glue. I am going to leave it over night and see how it works.


The Hessian drank a lot of the glue. About 400ml of the glue covered an area of approximately 500mmx650mm.


It would be awesome to think of a way to harden the Hessian to paint on it. I imagine it would mimic painting on animal skins, which I imagine ancient people may have done.


If this works, it would be a super interesting avenue to explore.





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