Saturday, April 29, 2006

Fredrix Creative Edge canvasses have been my canvas of choice for many years. I just love the clean side and neat back. Yeah, I realize it doesn't matter what the back of the canvas looks like yet it gives me some perverse pleasure. I order these things in bulk and my heart palpitates when the boxes arrive on my doorstep. What can I say, I am a dork for art supplies.

Lately though I have had a problem with the 12x12 size. It seems like many of the canvasses have a little indentation, a dimple of sorts in the each corner. It is almost as if the stretcher bars are beveled or something and the front of the canvas appears slightly concave near the edge.

Needless to say, this bugs the shit out of me. First it was just every so often I would find one like this but the problem has definitely worsened to the point it is unacceptable. Since I needed to place a huge canvas order, I was very concerned about what type of quality would be furnished.

So I called my ever-faithful art supply source, Dick Blick the other day. Didn't talk to Dick (is there even a Dick!?!?) but spoke with another helpful customer service person who assured me there have been no widespread concerns about these canvasses. In other words, I am the only complainer. Of course. She did urge me to carefully inspect any shipment and then call them back if I found inferior products.

My shipment of 2 dozen 12x12's arrived on Thursday. I finally got around to unpacking them yesterday and started my inspection of the canvasses. It is something I can do with my eyes closed as I can feel instantly whether there is a defect.

Out of 24 canvasses, there were 2, yes, 2(!) that met my standards.


First I got concerned maybe I was being too picky and asked John to look at them. He agreed they were not right. Not horrible, but still not right.

Called Dick Blick again and spoke to another very helpful customer service rep, a guy who is also a painter. He totally understood my issues. And after a lengthy discussion he found a substitute canvas for me and put in an order for 2 dozen to be sent right out. He also said he would send me pre-paid return labels to ship the others back. Thank goodness for that.

But I am concerned about the integrity of Fredrix canvasses now. Honestly it seems to be a bigger issue with the 12x12 for some reason. I have a number of 20x20's and 30x4o's that are absolutely fine. The 6x6's are by another manufacturer and they are perfect. I do not want to stretch my own as this just adds another step to the process and I don't really have the luxury of time on my side. Hopefully the new ones will be fine but I wish Fredrix would get the problem fixed. I think I will contact them myself with my concerns.

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