We can supply custom-sized stretcher bars if required. The image below shows our 4 different bracing options.
Great care has been taken to create your frame. To keep up the good work, here are a few precautions you can take.
Always carry your frame from the sides, not the top. Carrying from the top can lead to weakened frame joints, which can cause damage to your frame over time.
Please take notice of how your frame has been equiped with hangers. If we have not fitted any hanging wire, this is likely due to your frame being oversized and/or heavy. If this is the case, we recommend hanging your frame from two points (fitted with d-rings). If you require assistance with hanging, you may wish to seek a professional art installation service (please contact us for a list of recommended art installers).
A dry lint-free micro-fibre cloth can be used to remove dust from your frame (front and back). If your frame has been fitted with clear gallery class, domestic glass cleaners can be used. If your frame has been fitted with acrylic plexiglass (perspex), please use an anti-static cleaning liquid, such as Kunstoff.
Please note: hanging your artwork in full or partial-sunlight will result in fading over time. If necessary, all components of your conservation picture frame (excluding your artwork) can be replaced.
There are a few basic precautions you can take to make sure your stretched canvases are kept in the best condition possible. Follow these guidelines and you'll have nothing to worry about!
The best way to store canvas is upright against a wall. Unpainted or completely dry canvases should be placed back-to-back and front-to-front. Watch out when leaning smaller canvases against larger canvases that denting will not occur.
If you stretch your canvas yourself, it's best to work in an area with as little humidity as possible. Canvas fibres tend to react to moisture by becoming shorter, so if you stretch in damp conditions, the surface will lose its tension when the fibre dries out.
What to do in case of...
All canvases can crack around the edges. This is due to pressure on the edges while stretching or, in some cases, because the top surfaces of your primer have become brittle. On a well-primed cotton or linen cracking will effect only the surface layers of priming, and the quality of the fibre itself will not be affected because it is is protected by a layer of rabbit skin glue or a synthetic clear size. At worst, edge areas with cracking will have increased absorbency, which can be corrected by brushing on an extra coat of primer by hand.
Slack or rippled canvas:
If your canvas slackens out or forms ripples, it is more than likely that the fibre has responded to a decrease in moisture levels by lengthening slightly, relaxing the tension on the frame. The first thing to do is to try tapping in the wedges with a small hammer. If this doesn't work, lightly and evenly spray the back of the canvas. In dire cases it will be necessary to have your canvas re-stretched.
It's common for oil-primed canvases to yellow when they are not exposed to daylight. The linseed oil in the primer tends to discolor in the dark, but don't worry, it will brighten up again when exposed to sunlight.
Changing the surface:
If you are not happy with the consistency of your primer, to smoothen, sand back evenly with rougher sandpaper and then add another layer of primer. Repeat until you're satisfied with the surface.
Computer monitors have a wide variety of settings. It is important to understand
that the particular computer monitor you are using determines the
particular colours that you will see displayed. Different monitors will
have slightly different contrast and colour ratios settings. Your desktop computer
and your laptop may give you slightly different colour representations
of the same product. Therefore, the colours each individual customer
sees on their computer screen will not 100% accurately reflect the actual
colors of our products.
In our online shop, we have colour swatches displayed for every tube of paint we sell but sometimes you might like to see all of the available colours in a particular paint range at once. Please note, colours are for representational purposes only and will vary between computer monitors. For more information see Colour Settings in FAQ.
Scroll down to see colour charts for:
OLD HOLLAND CLASSIC OILS COLOUR CHART
SENNELIER ARTIST OILS COLOUR SWATCHES
SENNELIER OIL STICKS COLOUR SWATCHES
MAIMERI CLASSICO OILS COLOUR CHART
GAMBLIN ARTISTS OILS COLOUR CHART
BLOCKX OILS COLOUR CHART
GAMBLIN FAST MATTE COLOUR CHART
GOLDEN OPEN ACRYLICS COLOUR CHART
GOLDEN HEAVY BODY ACRYLICS COLOUR CHART
GOLDEN FLUID ACRYLICS COLOUR CHART
DERIVAN ARTISTS ACRYLIC COLOUR CHART
DERIVAN MATISSE STRUCTURE AND FLOW COLOUR CHART
What is the difference between a frame and a stretcher?
A stretcher is for stretching canvas on. A frame is what goes around the outside of the artwork.
What is the difference between a picture frame, shadow frame and a box frame?
A picture frame is used for window mats.
A shadow frame is used for stretched canvas.
A box frame is used for float mounted artwork.
What are the different ways of presenting my artwork?
Float Mounting - this is when the artwork sits on top of the mat board.
Window Mounting - a hole is cut into the mat forming a window which exposes the artwork beneath.
Is my artwork going to be preserved?
We use only conservation grade materials.
Our mat boards are:
• Neutral PH
• 100% Rag
• Acid Free/Archival
• Buffered with Calcium Carbonate
• Fade, Scuff and Bleed Resistant
What is the difference between cotton and linen?
Cotton is relatively affordable. For this reason is used by beginners
and professional artists alike. Like any product, "cotton duck", or
raw, unprimed cotton comes in different weaves, weights and strengths,
and can be bought unprimed or pre-primed. A good 10-12oz cotton duck
with a tight weave, sealed with rabbit skin glue or a synthetic
equivalent and primed with a quality gesso, will provide an adequate,
durable painting surface, particularly for acrylics. The elasticity of
cotton also lends itself to easy stretching.
However, linen is the classical surface for oil painting and the
preferable one for acrylics. Linen is woven from flax, which has a
greater natural strength, a longer fibre and a higher resistance to
decay than cotton. The natural oils of flax are retained in the fibre of
linen, preserving flexibility and preventing the canvas from becoming
brittle. These oils also provide the optimum surface to bring out the
intensity of your paint colour.
Linen can be bought in its raw state, sized (clear-sealed with rabbit-skin glue or synthetic equivalent) or primed with additional layers of oil or universal
primer. It is available in different grades and textures. A smoother
and finer surface is best suited to artists working in fine detail and
thin layers; rougher surfaces have a less regular texture and are ideal
for impasto technique.
We process online payments through the Paypal system for customer security and convenience. Payments can be made with all major credit cards or by using your existing Paypal account balance. All payments are secured and encrypted. Further information can be found here: www.paypal.com
Of course, we also accept credit card payments over the phone or you can come into our shop to pay in-person and one of our friendly staff will assist you.
For printing orders we require a deposit of 25% of the total price, with the balance to be paid upon completion.
Each FS+ customer has a maximum allocated allowance of 1GB for file storage. Once this limit is reached, customers will no longer be able to add new files to the website unless they free up space from within their individual storage area. The onus is on the individual to maintain and update their files to avoid reaching their maximum allowance. Customers are encouraged to monitor their files regularly and delete old files from the system.
Customers can upload images to our site through the MyFS module or the Design a Frame or Order Print modules.
The size limit for uploading images is 10MB. If the file to be uploaded is larger than 10MB, customers will need to contact us
to organise an alternative method to provide the file such as our Dropbox
We only accept print-quality images for printing. Once a customer has uploaded an image for printing, we will assess if the quality meets our requirements. If it fails to meet the minimum standards we will contact the customer to discuss our requirements. If a suitable file-type cannot be provided, we may not be able to print the image. As a general rule, the larger the file size, the better quality of the final print. The resolution of the image dictates the largest size the final print can be.
We accept images in various file types: JPEG, TIFF, PSD, AI, EPS, PDF, etc. If you are unsure if you have a suitable file-type, please contact us for advice.
At Fitzroy Stretches we understand the priceless nature of the artworks which are entrusted to us by our customers. We take this responsibility very seriously and respect intellectual property, copyright and ownership laws. While we do access customer's files for printing and framing, we will NEVER reproduce extra images without the authority of the owner. Rest assured, all ownership rights remain with the artwork provider.
For all goods purchased online via the shop, deliveries within Australia attract free freight. Freight charges will apply for international orders.
Please note, free freight will be via courier or regular Australia post. Express or Registered post will incur extra charges and is not included in free freight. Free freight does not apply to online quotes, custom made products, orders placed over the phone or in store.
Fitzroy Stretches does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage of items/parcels once they have left our office. We dispatch all our deliveries by courier so orders can be tracked should any problems occur.
For oil painters, we stock the entire range of Langridge mediums,
including odorless solvents, eucalypt-based additives and DISSOLV
clean-up gel for artists looking for a healthier alternative to
turpentine. Due to popular demand, we also supply the Art Spectrum
mediums, and Lukas’ Medium No. 5 for thickening and impasto effects.
For artists working in acrylics we stock a comprehensive selection of
mediums, gels, grounds, gessoes, drying retarders, varnishes and grounds
from Liquitex, Maimeri and Golden.
For digital photographers and artists printing or reproducing their
work, we have introduced the Golden range of digital grounds, designed
for the preparation of almost any surface for inkjet printing (including
canvas, paper, and more unorthodox surfaces such as metal and cloth).
AS Mediums are number-coded to make it easy to follow the 'fat over
lean' rule which, when applied, avoids wrinkling and cracking of the oil
paint surface. To prevent this problem, use AS Artists' Oil Painting
Medium No. 1 first and then AS Artists' Oil Painting Medium No. 2 for
subsequent layers. This will give an even tension throughout the
painting. AS Painting Medium No. 3 is viscous and 'fatter' for those who
like a heavier medium and should be used over the leaner mediums. www.artspectrum.com.au
Australian-made Langridge oil painting mediums are amongst the finest
available for oil painters. Fitzroy Stretches stocks a comprehensive
range, including cold-pressed and refined linseed and stand oils; and
diluents including turpentine and distilled gum turpentine, white
spirit, odourless solvent and odourless mediums. www.langridgecolours.com
The following information has been supplied by our good friends at Gamblin.
Gamblin Galkyd Painting Mediums thin oil colors for painting and glazing and speed
drying time of oil colors. Galkyds are made with alkyd resins. First manufactured in the early 1930's, alkyd
resins are the polymerized oil of the 20th century. (Stand Oil was the polymerized oil of the 19th century).
Alkyds have been formulated for use in artists' materials, most successfully as an oil painting medium.
Galkyd painting mediums are made with odorless mineral spirits, which can also be used to thin Galkyds and
for brush and studio clean up. By using Galkyd, painters can remove turpentine from their painting process.
Turpentine is the only solvent commonly available to painters that can be absorbed through healthy, unbroken
Gamblin painting mediums can be mixed together.
Suggested solvent: Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits
Try the Gamblin Interactive Painting Mediums Guide
for suggestions on how to create a painting medium that suits your specific needs.
GALKYD PAINTING MEDIUM
Galkyd is an alkyd resin painting medium that increases the fluidity of oil colors and speeds their drying time.
Thin layers of oil colors are dry in 24 hours. The viscosity of Galkyd is similar to traditional painting mediums
made from linseed stand oil. Galkyd levels brush strokes, creates a strong flexible paint film and leaves an enamel
like glossy finish. Galkyd is ready to use. Thins with odorless mineral spirits. Painters can add up to 50% by volume
odorless mineral spirits to change the viscosity of Galkyd for glazing. Galkyds are excellent glazing mediums.
Click here for the material safety data sheet: MSDS
Galkyd is available in the following sizes: 2 oz, 8 oz, 16 oz, 32 oz.
GALKYD LITE (Low Viscosity)
Galkyd Lite is different from Galkyd because it is formulated to have a
lower viscosity. The viscosity of Galkyd Lite is very similar to that of a traditional damar/refined
linseed oil/turpentine painting medium. Galkyd Lite is also ready to use. Because of its lower viscosity,
Galkyd Lite will leave brush strokes in thicker layers. Glazes made with Galkyd Lite look slightly less glossy
than those made with traditional mediums or Galkyd. Like Galkyd, Galkyd Lite is formulated to thin oil colors and
maintain strong flexible paint films. Besides painters who prefer a lighter painting medium, landscape painters and
others who enjoy painting outdoors will appreciate the longer working time of Galkyd Lite (approximately three hours).
Thin layers will be ready to paint over within 24 hours. Thins with odorless mineral spirits.
Click here for the material safety data sheet:
Galkyd Lite is available in the following sizes: 2 oz, 8 oz, 16 oz, 32 oz.
GALKYD SLOW DRY
Galkyd Slow Dry is formulated to have strength and flexibility and to keep the
surface of oil paintings open for approximately three days. This is a good choice for painters
who blend or work wet into wet. Use 1 part Galkyd Slow Dry
and 1 part oil colors to paint wet into wet for at least a day. DO NOT DILUTE.
Click here for the material safety data sheet:
Galkyd Slow Dry is available in the following sizes: 2 oz, 8 oz, 16 oz.
To slow down the drying time of Galkyd and Galkyd Lite, add about 10% by volume Alkali Refined Linseed
Oil or Poppy Oil. The Galkyds can be thinned by adding OMS. Robert Gamblin recommends diluting Galkyd
by no more than 50% Galkyd and 50% OMS.
To make the Galkyds more matte, dissolve one teaspoon of Gamblin Cold Wax in enough OMS to dissolve
the wax completely. This solution is the matting agent. Add 1/4 matting agent to 3/4 Galkyd to make a
more matte finish.
GALKYD GEL "G-GEL"
G-Gel is a gelled alkyd resin painting medium,
which Robert formulated for painters who want to
create transparent impasto. Thixotropic G-Gel holds marks and brush
strokes. G-Gel makes impasto of
approximately 1/4" thick. You can apply multiple layers. To maintain its
clarity, G-Gel is not loaded with driers so it does not dry as
fast as most gel mediums. Adding driers causes oil paintings to darken
and become brittle over time. G-Gel
contains a very small amount of silica so it is very transparent and
Click here for the material safety data sheet:
G-Gel is available in the following size: 150 ml.
NEO MEGILP Oil Painting Medium is a soft, silky gel. Neo Megilp
maintains the body of the paint, and produces a luminous Turner-like
atmosphere, while suspending and supporting paint in
a soft gel. And it is made from contemporary materials so it will not
turn yellow or dark as it
did in the 17th and 18th centuries. Neo Megilp can also replace Maroger
Medium for artists who
love the working properties but are now concerned about Maroger's poor
Click here for the material safety data sheet: MSDS
Neo Megilp is available in the following sizes: 2 oz, 8 oz, 16 oz.
COLD WAX MEDIUM
Cold Wax can be used to make oil colors thicker and more matte.
A soft paste formulated to knife consistency, Gamblin Cold Wax medium is made from naturally white
unbleached beeswax, alkyd resin and odorless mineral spirits (OMS). Gamblin Cold Wax Medium can be
thinned to brush consistency by dissolving in a small amount of OMS. The surface of paintings made with
beeswax mediums will become only as hard as a beeswax candle. Adding Galkyd to cold wax painting
medium/oil colors mix will increase the sheen and flexibility of the paint film. Use a small amount to make
Galkyds more matte. Gamblin Cold Wax Medium contains no oil so it can be applied as a wax varnish over a
dry oil painting.
Click here for the material safety data sheet: MSDS
Cold Wax Medium is available in the following sizes: 4 oz, 16 oz, 128 oz.
- Painters who are using more than 1/3 cold wax medium to
2/3 oil paints should paint on rigid supports or paintings may crack
- By mixing 1/2 Cold Wax Medium and 1/2 G-Gel, painters can paint on flexible supports.
Please refer to our Cold Wax Medium Tech. Sheet for additional information on the uses of this versatile medium.
Small beads of naturally white unbleached beeswax.
Click here for the material safety data sheet:
Wax Pastilles are available in the following size: 1 lb.
If you would like to receive a free Mediums Guide, and other product literature, please Contact Gamblin
The following information has been supplied by our good friends at Golden Artist Colours. Click the headings to be redirected to the Golden site for further information.
Golden Mediums offer artists infinite control of changing acrylic colors. Use Mediums to control transparency, viscosity and surface sheen. Golden Mediums can be thought of as colorless paints, as they are composed of similar polymers as are the acrylic paints. They are the "glue" or binder that dry to form continuous, durable films. They are made of 100% acrylic polymers, which have proven to have excellent flexibility and chemical, water and ultraviolet radiation resistance.
Admittedly, such a large number of mediums can often seem staggering and can confuse artists. However, with at least a general understanding of the various products available, and an inclination to experiment, artists can create new ways in which to express themselves, and probably apply materials in a way that Golden has not thought about.
Acrylic Glazing Liquid - is a specially formulated liquid medium designed to have longer working time than typical acrylic mediums. Very useful for fine art applications where subtle blending, subtractive techniques and similar methods are desired. Also ideal for decorative painting techniques. Available in Gloss and Satin.
Polymer Medium (Gloss) - A general purpose liquid medium useful for creating glazes, extending colors, enhancing gloss and translucency and increasing film integrity. Has a unique feel that is much more oil-like or resinous in nature and that promotes flow and leveling.
Fluid Matte Medium - A liquid medium useful for extending colors, decreasing gloss and increasing film integrity. Useful for blending with Golden Fluid Acrylics to decrease the gloss, without increasing viscosity.
Matte Medium - A general purpose, pourable medium useful for extending colors, decreasing gloss and increasing film integrity. Can be used as a ground, instead of gesso.
Super Loaded Matte Medium - Super Loaded Matte Medium is useful for reducing gloss. Because of its high level of matting agents, it will lower sheen of another product with a minimal addition, thereby changing other paint attributes the least, such as color strength and viscosity. Super Loaded Matte Medium should always be blended with other acrylic paints or mediums as this product is not intended to be used by itself.
Airbrush Transparent Extender - Golden Airbrush Transparent Extender is a 100% acrylic binder system that is designed to modify Golden Airbrush Colors for increased transparency and film hardness. Engineered to meet the highest standards of professional airbrush illustrators, Airbrush Transparent Extender possesses excellent spraying properties and is formulated to minimize tip build-up, clogging and surface defects.
Airbrush Medium - Designed for modifying the Golden Fluid Acrylics for airbrush/spray application. Blends with minimal effort with the Fluid Acrylics to yield a paint mixture with the proper viscosity for airbrushing. Effectively decreases clogging and tip buildup during spraying, eliminating the largest drawback to airbrushing with acrylics. While designed with the Fluid Acrylics in mind, Airbrush Medium will also reduce the Heavy Body, Matte, High Load, Iridescent/Interference and Fluorescent Acrylics for spray applications. Golden Mediums and Gessos can also be blended with Airbrush Medium for spraying.
Silkscreen Medium - A water-borne system designed to blend with acrylic paints for silkscreen application. Increases working time and retards paint from drying in the screen. Safe to use with minimal odor. Mix 1 part Silkscreen Medium with 1 part Golden Acrylic colors (Heavy Body, Matte or Fluid) and use this mixture to screen with. The Silkscreen Medium is not designed to impart opacity, hence the opacity of the mixture will be determined by the nature of color being used and the ratio of paint to Medium used.
Dibond panels combine two 0.3 mm aluminium surface layers with a polyethylene core.
Gatorfoam is comprised of extruded polystyrene foam bonded between two layers of wood-fiber veneer.
Mats can be supplied in 4mm or 8mm thickness with or without artwork mounting.
Our most popular products can now be purchased through our online shop. For deliveries within Australia, freight is free. Freight charges will apply for international orders.
Please note, free freight will be via courier or regular Australia post. Express or Registered post will incur extra charges and is not included in free freight.
Fitzroy Stretches does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage of items/parcels once they have left our office. We dispatch all our deliveries by courier so orders can be tracked should any problems occur.
Your satisfaction is very important to us. Exchanges will happily be given if the item is unused, and with all packaging and labels intact. Contact must be made within 10 days of receipt of your order. An additional delivery fee for this service will be charged. Please note: Sale items are not exchangeable, and all sales are final.
Our stretched canvases are not mass-produced; they are created locally by skilled craftspeople using quality materials from Australia and overseas. Slight variations are inherent in hand-made products and are not considered product faults.
The online colour swatches provided for paints are indicative only and cannot replace the experience of seeing a colour chart in person at your favourite art supplies store.
Should you order a product which is out of stock, we will contact you to let you know when the product will be available and what alternatives are currently in stock.
Products purchased through our online shop will not be shipped until payment has been received in full.
Fitzroy Stretches respects and protects your privacy. Your personal details will under no circumstances be disclosed, exchanged or sold. Credit card details entered into PayPal will be used to process orders only and will not be kept on file by Fitzroy Stretches.
Fitzroy Stretches stocks the following wide range of high quality paints:
Artist Grade Oils
Made with pure pigments and the finest refined linseed oil, Gamblin Artist's Oil Colours have a unique tinting strength, transparency and texture. Gamblin is a world-renowned American brand that balances an emphasis on low-toxicity with the creation of colours true to their historic properties. These luscious colours have been selected, developed and grouped according to their pigment history, providing a range that caters for both traditional and contemporary palettes. Worried about the health dangers of oil painting? Gamblin Oil Colours are complemented by a unique range of mediums.
Gamblin FastMatte Alkyd Oil Colours are formulated to give oil painters a fast drying oil colour with excellent working properties and permanence. When used for underpainting, the matte surface allows for maximum adhesion with subsequent layers. Dry within 18 - 24 hours, in thinly painted layers, allowing work throughout a painting session, while creating a dry surface for the painting session the following day.
Classic Oil Colours
The paint of the old masters... and the new masters. Old Holland Classic Colours has more than three centuries of experience manufacturing artists\' paint, and during that period it has proved that nothing beats the quality of traditional formulations. The pigment loading of these colours far exceeds that of many other brands. There are 168 colours in the Old Holland Classic Colours range, available in 40ml tubes. Whites are also available in 125ml or 225ml tubes.
Since 1865, Blockx has made its extra-fine artists\' colours from the finest selection of pigments and oils. Still handground by slowly-rotating stone mills, only pure pigment is used for maximum light-fastness, buttery consistency and easy mixing on the canvas itself. Iron oxides, earths and blacks are ground with linseed oil while other pigments are ground with poppy seed oil which resists yellowing and wrinkling as it dries. The range of 96 colours is available in tubes of 35ml. Whites are also available in 200ml tubes.
Extra Fine Artists’ Oils
Established in 1887 in Paris, Sennelier developed a distinctive oil colour manufacturing process that has been used for generations. The pure pigments are ground very slowly to an extra-fine consistency. They are then combined at maximum concentration with an archival safflower oil to yield the highest possible tinting strength and a lustrous satin finish. The resulting paints have a unique, buttery texture. Today, Sennelier\\\'s classic palette has expanded to 144 colours with new shades that meet the needs of contemporary artists. Still as smooth and luminous as ever, these colours are available in 40ml tubes. Whites are also available in 200ml tubes.
These paints are the artist\\\'s daily bread and butter. Anyone – professional or amateur – who picks up a tube of Classico oil paints will find in it just what they need. They contain no waxes or thickeners, and pigment concentration is very high. Bright, lively colours with overall harmony in the palette, these paints from Italy are made with non-toxic, non-polluting pigments that improve light-fastness. They are versatile paints, offering exceptional value for money. We stock the Maimeri Classico range of 90 colours in 60ml and 200ml tubes.
Golden Artist Colours
The original line of GOLDEN Artist Acrylics is known for its exceptionally smooth, thick buttery consistency. It contains the largest assortment of unique pure pigments in a 100% acrylic emulsion vehicle available to the professional artist. These colors offer excellent permanency and lightfastness. There are no fillers, extenders, opacifiers, toners, or dyes added. Each Heavy Body color is formulated differently depending on the nature of the pigment. Colors that tolerate higher pigment "loads" dry to a more opaque, matte finish. Colors that are more reactive and do not accept high pigment loading dry to a glossy finish and tend to be more transparent. Heavy Body colors contain no additives, such as matting agents, therefore the gloss of each color will be different.
GOLDEN OPEN Acrylics are a slow-drying formulation with a slightly softer consistency than GOLDEN Heavy Body paints. The increased working time of these colors expands their range to include more traditional techniques once only possible with oils.Because OPEN Acrylics dry slowly, painters who cover their palettes or use sealed containers have been able to use the same colors for weeks, reducing the amount of paint wasted and preserving color mixtures for future use. OPEN Acrylics resist skinning on the palette during long painting sessions and when painting outdoors. Thin applications of paint tack-up, allowing additional layers to be applied and blended. Thicker applications may be worked for hours, however paint over 1/16" thick will dry EXTREMELY slowly. Blend OPEN with regular GOLDEN Acrylics and Gel Mediums for any application where faster drying is desirable. The drying time of OPEN Acrylics decreases when painting over absorbent surfaces and increases over sealed and non-porous surfaces.
Fluid Acrylics are highly intense, permanent acrylic colors with a consistency similar to heavy cream. Produced from lightfast pigments, not dyes, they offer very strong colors with very thin consistencies. No fillers or extenders are added and the pigment load is comparable to GOLDEN Heavy Body Acrylics.Unlike mixtures of heavy-bodied paints and water which produce weak color and films by dilution, Fluid Acrylics contain high pigment levels suspended in an acrylic polymer vehicle. The result offers fine dispersion, high tinting strength, durability, flexibility and good adhesion. Fluid Acrylics are ideal for spraying, brushing, staining, and can be mixed with other GOLDEN Products. Blend with Airbrush Medium for spray application. Excellent for fabric application.
Derivan Artist is a professional range of acrylic colours designed to be water-resistant and lightfast. Derivan Artist is equivalent in colour strength and permanency to most professional grades of paint but is much more affordable. Derivan Artist can be used in combination with the Derivan Painting Mediums range or, for a wider choice of mediums, the Matisse Medium range. Derivan Artist will give equally fantastic results used as a thick impasto paint or with the use of water and mediums as a watercolour, screen printing ink on paper, airbrushing or fabric paint. Derivan Artist is formulated to be used by tertiary students and artists as a full-bodied acrylic colour. Derivan Artist may also be used in conjunction with various mediums to achieve screen prints, watercolour techniques, airbrushing, and fabric painting.
Matisse Structure Formula is a rich impasto paint that artists love. Available in 95 colours, Matisse Structure Formula paint is ideal for application with a brush or palette knife for striking textured effects, or combined with the range of Matisse Mediums for exceptional flexibility of application and finish. The intense, vibrant colours of the Structure Formula paints cover the full colour spectrum, including several uniquely Australian colours. Only the finest quality pigments and ingredients are selected for the Matisse range of premium acrylic colours. All have the highest lightfastness rating of ASTM 1 or 2 and are archival quality - so you can create with confidence knowing your artwork will stand the test of time. Each are fully compatible with the range of Matisse Mediums working together to create a highly versatile painting system for all artists.
Matisse Flow Formula has all the attributes of the Structure Formula, however, it has a thinner viscosity to allow free flowing brushstrokes or use through an airbrush (with minimal dilution). This allows the paint to be used for fine brushwork with or without water dilution. This paint gives a fine flow with a low-sheen finish and good levelling.
We stock Arches' Watercolour Papers and two ranges of watercolor paper from St Cuthberts Mill: Bockingford and Saunders Waterford. These papers, available in a variety of weights and grades, are appropriate not only for water-colour painting, but also for ink, intaglio, drawing, printmaking, silkscreen work and lithography.
Arches makes a lovely cotton rag paper with gelatine acid-free sizing and four natural deckled edges. The paper has been milled in Lorraine, France, since 1542 and is world-renowned for its consistency and durability. Each sheet is embossed with the Arches watermark, a signifier of a long tradition of quality paper-making. We stock the paper in smooth (hot-pressed), medium (cold-pressed) and rough in 185gsm, 300gsm and 640gsm.
St Cuthberts Mill’s artists' paper Saunders Waterford is a high-quality surface made from 100% cotton rag. Both internally and externally sized, this fine paper allows for a forgiving surface that can withstand lifting and scrubbing. It's pH-neural, has four natural deckled edges and is embossed with the St Cuthberts cross and contains the Saunders Waterford watermark. Available in rough, medium (cold-pressed) and smooth (hot-pressed) in weights of 300, 356, 425 and 638gsm.
Bockingford is a pH-neutral and internally sized paper made from cellulose fibres, available at 150, 190 and 300 gsm in the cold-pressed (medium) surface only. An inexpensive alternative to cotton rag paper, Bockingford is less absorbent, but just as durable as the Saunders Waterford range.
The information below has been provided by our good friends at St Cuthberts Mill. Click on the headings to be redirected to the St Cuthberts Mill site for more detailed information.
Bockingford® is a beautiful
English watercolour paper, traditionally made on a cylinder mould
machine at St Cuthberts Mill. This is a high quality paper made using
pure materials to archival standards.
Its attractive surface is created using natural woollen
felts that give it a distinctive random texture. Appreciated for its
excellent colour lifting abilities. This is an extremely forgiving
watercolour paper valued by professional and amateur artists around the
Bockingford® offers quality watercolour paper at an affordable price.
Saunders Waterford® is an
exquisite watercolour paper, traditionally made on a cylinder mould
machine. This is the superior quality watercolour paper made by St
Cuthberts Mill and comes with the Royal Watercolour Society’s
endorsement. Made using 100% cotton, the highest quality papermaking
material, to high archival standards. Each sheet is buffered with
calcium carbonate to help defend finished pieces of work from
discolouration caused by acids present in atmospheric pollution.
Its attractive surface is created using natural woollen
felts that give it a distinctive random texture. The surface is sized
in gelatine making it strong and resilient to scrubbing, and other rough
Available in White and High White, which we believe is the whitest archival watercolour paper made.
Saunders Waterford® is a top quality professional watercolour paper.
Somerset® is a world leading traditional printmaking paper. Mould made from 100% cotton to high archival standards.
The surface has a gentle texture, soft and
good-tempered nature, and is a strong and stable enough sheet to ensure
excellent printing. It remains flat after printing and offers durability
and long life to finished editions of work. It is available in eight
highly lightfast colours that reach a minimum of 7 on the Blue Wool
Scale, including a stunning deep black sheet.
Somerset® is an elegant and hardworking printmaking perfect for limited edition prints.
Fine Art Printing
At FS+ we use the Canon iPF8300 44inch printer. We use ONLY the highest quality cotton rag and alpha-cellulose papers from the world’s premium manufacturers which when combined with Canon’s LUCIA EX 12 colour pigment ink system match or exceed traditional photographic printing output in longevity and tonal quality. All papers and canvas are made to the highest archival standards and are exhibition quality. Our system is professionally calibrated to ICC standards using the latest technologies. Our printing clients include past-winners and finalists of the Doug Moran Portrait Prize, Archibald People’s Choice Award, Hasselblad Masters Award, National Photographic Portrait Prize, Head On Portrait Prize, Basil Sellers Art Prize and the Olive Cotton Award. We believe we have some of the most competitive pricing in Australia.
Paper & Canvas
Hahnemuhle Torchon (Textured Matt)
285 gsm · 100% - Alpha Cellulose · bright white · rough texture.
The term “torchon” is taken from the French and means “coarse structure”. The special surface texture of this bright white paper is a reminder of this. It can capture the timeless original beauty and three dimensionality of an artwork in its own special way.
Hahnemuhle Baryta (High Gloss)
Cotton fibre rag Baryta paper for that glossy traditional photo tonal range.
Hahnemuhle Monet Canvas
410 gsm · 100% Cotton · white
We only use one canvas because we believe in only using the best 100% cotton archival products and this is the best canvas we have used for photographic reproduction. It is acid and optical brightener-free. We recommend sealing canvas prints and use Aquathane water based spray sealant*
*Aquathane Water Based Spray Sealant = $33 per square metre inc GST
Crane Museo Silver Rag (Gloss)
300gsm 100% cotton gloss
Beautiful traditional fibre based ‘photographic print’ look and feel. This paper has a high archival rating and no optical brighteners.
Crane Museo Portfolio Rag (Matt)
Again a high archival rating, 100% cotton rag with no optical brighteners and acid-free.
A smooth matt rag paper that is perfect for fine art exhibition prints.
For all canvas and cloth prints we recommend spraying with AQUATHANE-UV, Outdoor-Rated Protective Coating. It is Waterbased, has Nano Technology UV Blocking, has High flexibility, is Scratch Resistant, is Anti-Fungal and Ultra Clear, has Superior Ultra Violet Light Blocking Ability, is Ultra Tough & Durable. This environmentally friendly water based protective coating is completely waterproof and can be used on canvas, fine art papers or signage cloths or vinyls.
We offer a competitive price of $198 per square metre inc. GST across the entire range of papers and canvas. Whether printing onto 600mm or 1000mm rolls or individual sheets, our user-friendly one price fits all approach is designed to make your printing experience a pleasure rather than a maths exam with a nasty shock at the end!
Sheet Printable Area Price inc GST
A4 (210 x 297mm) 200 x 250mm $12.34
A3+ (329 x 483mm) 304 x 437mm $31.46
(We can print any size up to 12m on canvas & 15m on paper)
*Aquathane Water Based Spray Sealant = $33 per square metre inc GST
Please note files printed onto rolls may include multiple images ie. 2 prints at 450mm x 450mm will fit onto a 1000mm x 500mm area
All files should be supplied at 100% exactly the size that you want it printed and are assumed to be print ready, that is prepared on a calibrated screen. Contact us if you need help with this.
For prints from rolls allow at least 10mm border.
Printable area for A4 sheets is 200mm x 250mm, for A3+ it is 304mm x 437mm.
We work in RGB Adobe 1998 colour space and prefer 300ppi Tiff files in 8bit or 16bit for best outcome but will accept JPEG files and resolutions down to 180ppi.
All files must be flattened (No Layers)
Fitzroy Stretches is committed to providing you with the best possible customer service experience. Fitzroy Stretches is bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Crh), which sets out a number of principles concerning the privacy of individuals.
Collection of your personal information
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We may occasionally hire other companies to provide services on our behalf, including but not limited to handling customer support enquiries, processing transactions or customer freight shipping. Those companies will be permitted to obtain only the personal information they need to deliver the service. Fitzroy Stretches takes reasonable steps to ensure that these organisations are bound by confidentiality and privacy obligations in relation to the protection of your personal information.
Use of your personal information
For each visitor to reach the site, we expressively collect the following non-personally identifiable information, including but not limited to browser type, version and language, operating system, pages viewed while browsing the Site, page access times and referring website address. This collected information is used solely internally for the purpose of gauging visitor traffic, trends and delivering personalized content to you while you are at this Site.
From time to time, we may use customer information for new, unanticipated uses not previously disclosed in our privacy notice. If our information practices change at some time in the future we will use for these new purposes only, data collected from the time of the policy change forward will adhere to our updated practices.
Accessing Your Personal Information
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Call: +61 3 9380 9553
63-65 Weston Street,
Except where otherwise explicitly noted, the entire contents of this website and of all documents included within the framework of what
is here referred to as the "Fitzroy Stretches web site" is Copyright © 2011 Fitzroy Stretches Pty Ltd.
Under national and international copyright laws, this website may
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What is the difference between sizing and priming?
Traditionally, all canvases are first sized and then primed. Size
is a clear barrier of rabbit-skin glue or a synthetic equivalent such
as acrylic polymer gel that seals the surface of the cotton or linen.
This prevents additional layers of primer and paint from coming in
contact with the fibre, avoiding weakening or rotting. Some artists
paint directly onto clear-sized linen because the like the raw
coloration of the linen as as a working surface, although it's generally
advisable to add an extra layer of sizing to commercially prepared
A primer, gesso or ground is a (usually white)
coating which provides a surface the paint can adhere to. Usually two to
three layers of primer are applied by hand or by machine to pre-primed
canvas. You can prime raw cotton or linen from scratch or add additional
layers of primer and then sand the layers back evenly if you require a
What is the difference between acrylic and oil-primed canvas?
An acrylic-primed canvas is primed with acrylic
gesso, also know as acrylic ground or universal primer because it is
also suitable for oil paint. Acrylic gesso differs in absorbency,
consistency and quality from brand to brand. Typically, it consists of a
calcium substrate (gypsum in the Italian tradition, chalk in Northern
Europe), combined with an acrylic polymer medium as binder, pigment
(such as titanium dioxide) as a whitening agent, and other chemicals
that ensure flexibility.
Acrylic-primed canvases are absorbent, creating a surface to which
water-based acrylic paints can bind. It is best to size the canvas with
rabbit-skin glue or an acrylic medium such as Golden's GAC-400 before
priming. It is common to have two to four layers of a two to four layers
of acrylic gesso, and advisable to work in thin layers. Each layer
should be allowed to dry completely before the next is applied.
Gesso is useful for the preparation of any surface, not just canvas.
It will also adhere to masonite, MDF or unpainted wood, but not to
Inexpensive student-quality gesso tends to be very porous, causing
pigments to leach into the surface and lose its vibrancy when it dries.
If you find this is a problem, it's worth seeking out an artist's
quality gesso or trying some good quality pre-primed canvas.
An oil-primed canvas is the traditional surface for
artists working in oils, although many oil painters now use
universal-primed canvas instead because it is easier to find, less toxic
and less expensive. This surface is naturally very flexible, tough,
completely non-porous, and "lean", i.e. appropriate as the first layer
in the fat-over-lean oil-painting technique.
Oil-primer traditionally consists of white lead (flake white) pigment
ground into linseed oil. But because white lead is highly toxic and
associated with lead poisoning, its production has been banned in most
countries. Flake white and lead-based primers are now hard to come by,
and the health risks involved in using these products should not be
The good news is that there are alternatives. Van Mulders
is a Belgian group specializing in oil-primed canvases using lithopone
white (a sulphide of zinc white) and other products as a substitute of
white lead. And the American company Gamblin
produces a ground for oil painters with a binder of alkyd resin rather
than linseed oil and titanium dioxide for pigment. Gamblin's ground
dries within a week (traditional oil-primer takes several months) and is
less likely to yellow. Because of the high content of linseed oil,
traditional oil primer can be susceptible to yellowing when kept in the
dark; but don't worry, it brightens up again when exposed to sunlight.
Is it OK to use oil paint on acrylic-primed canvas?
It is generally accepted that it is fine to paint using oils over a
good quality acrylic or universal primer. However, there are a few
issues to be aware of. Solvents commonly used in oil painting, such as
turpentine or odorless spirits, can leach through an inexpensive, thin
acrylic primer and damage the fibres of the canvas. Additionally, if oil
paint soaks into a surface that has not been properly primed or sealed,
it can infiltrate the canvas and remain damp, deteriorating at the
For these reasons, it is worthwhile to ensure that the surface you
use is of a suitable quality that has been sized and then primed with at
least two layers of artist's quality gesso.
Thankyou to our friends at Gamblin Artist's Oil Colours for supplying the invaluable information on this page. Click on the headings to be redirected to Gamblin's site for further information.
Why paint on a printing element and then print it to paper? Monotype
has its own unique form of expression and certain types of marks and
imagery can only be achieved using the monotype process.
The purpose of this Studio Note is to introduce FastMatte Alkyd
Colors and share some ideas and techniques that may be helpful to your
One of the most frequent questions printmakers ask us is: How can I
tell which Black ink is "right" for my work? This Studio Note is
intended to help you select the Black ink that is most suited to your
printmaking process and best serves your final printed image.
The most important color choice we make is the white we bring to
our work. This Studio Note is intended to help you select the right
white for your work. And in Part Two of this Studio Note, we report the
results from our on-going study comparing our whites with those of other
American and European companies.
This newsletter aims to take some of the guess work out of
choosing the right painting medium by focusing on your own artistic
This newsletter focuses on the role that both oil and solvents
play in painting mediums and in creating the sound structure of an oil
This newsletter takes a look at the rich history of the world's
oldest group of colored material – earth pigments – and how artists have
used these colors for over 40,000 years.
This issue of Studio Notes looks at Gamblin’s organization of
their color palette and the division of mineral and modern colors. This
information gives painters an insight into the makeup of pigments from
which these colors are derived, as well as some practical information to
help painters create their own personal color palettes.
As the mercury rises, summer travel plans are penned in calendars
and, with any luck, the plein-air painting equipment is dusted off in
preparation for another excursion. This issue of Gamblin Studio Notes
considers regionally-specific palettes of four plein-air painters as
they capture the diversity of the American landscape.
In our frequent conversations with painters, the issue of their
paintings’ surface quality comes up often. This edition of Gamblin
Studio Notes addresses this issue in greater detail. Included is our
first, online video demonstration!
The Gamblin Studio Notes has a tradition of being used as a
technical resource and not as a sales vehicle. This edition is an
exception to that approach. We want more of you to know about a color we
added to our palette a couple years ago. We think that many of you who
have not yet discovered Chromatic Black will thank us for the suggestion
that you give it a try.
The origin of the most common paint binder used before WWII is
pre-historic. We know the Nubians made Linseed oil varnishes to seal
their boats and the Egyptians wove linen into cloth. Although we do not
have written records, processing flax plants must have been an important
industry. And, in that ancient industry, we find the origins of
artists' paint making.
Many artists contact me with questions about the best ways to take
art materials on aircraft. I have been flying with oil painting
materials for 25 years. I have logged about 400,000 miles with my
paints. Here are some suggestions.
Understanding proper use of painting solvents and contemporary
painting mediums is the number one key to working in safe studios. While
toxicity of solvents and mediums is critically important for oil
painters, I would like to focus this issue of the "Gamblin Studio Notes"
on artist's pigments.
In November, John E. Buchanan, Jr., executive director of the
Portland (OR) Art Museum, invited Robert Gamblin to give a public
lecture on WHY classical paintings look different from Impressionist
paintings. This is the text of his lecture plus illustrations that
highlight a wonderful group of French Baroque paintings on exhibit -
"The Triumph of French Painting" - at the Portland Art Museum during the
This issue of the Gamblin Studio Notes is about how to define
personal color space by assembling a unique palette of colors. Over many
years of painting and making paints, I have had the opportunity to
experience the more subjective qualities of color. The "Cadmium Red
Medium" oil paint that I see pouring over a triple roller mill in the
Gamblin factory is a raw material that artists combine, mix, transform
into different colors. Visiting studios, I see how hundreds of painters
define their personal color space...
The history of oil paint making is 500 years old so I am not
surprised that so much confusion has accumulated. I hear too much myth
and magic when artists describe how they choose materials. Making 150
antique oil colors for the Smithsonian Institution showed me that
painters today can choose to use art materials that would indeed make
the Old Masters envious or they can choose to use junk. I suggest you
only select art materials based on how the material or collection of
materials contributes to creating your images. As you change the
materials, you change the image...
Australia’s native forests, timber plantations and wood products are net absorbers of greenhouse gases, sequestering 56.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2005, reducing Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 10%.
Fitzroy Stretches is committed to environmental sustainability and only uses timber supplied by renewable resources.
The following information has been supplied by our friends at Hazelwood and Hill.
Vic Ash or Victorian Ash is not a species. It is the trade name for a mixture of two similar species; Mountain Ash and Alpine Ash from Victoria.
Sustainability and the Environment
Sourced from renewable plantation grown eucalypts, Victorian Ash is a beautiful and naturally renewable resource. Its use for timber products and value added process is energy efficient and greenhouse positive.
Light pink to blonde with a range of characteristics. A range of different finishes can be used to bring out the unique appeal of Victorian Ash.
Victorian Ash is sought after for appearance grade applications such as flooring, studs, bearers, joists, trusses, furniture, staircases, mouldings, window frames and doors.
It ranges in colour from a highly attractive pale blonde through to nutty brown tones. Natural features, such as gum vein, add decorative appeal to this species, telling the tale of the tree’s previous life in the natural elements.
With a grain that is straight, open and even with a uniform texture, Victorian Ash is easy to work, with a good propensity for steam bending and laminating.
Colour and Stability
The naturally light colour of Victorian Ash responds beautifully to stains and lacquers allowing versatility in colour and design. It also blends attractively with other timbers and furnishings.
Unlike other hardwoods, Victorian Ash is quarter sawn thereby minimising the effect of fluctuations in atmospheric conditions. This method of sawing enhances its natural stability ensuring trouble free Performance in a wide range of applications.
WESTERN RED CEDAR
Thuja Plicata, commonly called Western or Pacific Red Cedar, Giant or Western Arborvitae, Giant Cedar, or Shinglewood, is a species of Thuja, an evergreen coniferous tree in the cypress family Cupressaceae native to western North America. Despite its common names, it does not belong with the true cedars within the genus Cedrus.
Grown in North America, Western Red Cedar is renowned for its high impermeability to liquids and its natural phenol preservatives, which make it ideally suited for exterior use and interior use where humidity is high.
Western Red Cedars’ slow growth, dense fibre and natural oily extractives are responsible for its decay resistance and its rich colouring, which ranges from a light milky straw color in the sapwood to a vanilla-chocolate in the heartwood. It is a stable wood that seasons easily and quickly, with a very low shrinkage factor.
Heartwood very pale brown to very dark brown. Sapwood yellowish white. Texture fine but uneven. Grain straight. Growth rings prominent.
Easy to work but the sanding dust can be very irritating to the breathing passages, so a well-ventilated workshop is essential. It is rather brittle, so care is needed in working end grain.
Since it is very soft there is a risk when dressing it that the cutters may compress the softer earlywood, which will later recover to produce a ridged surface. Glues well and is a good base for coatings.
The damp wood is corrosive to iron, resulting in a black discolouration of the surrounding wood, so hot-dipped galvanised nails are commonly used in areas likely to experience any dampness.
A yellowish colouring readily leaches from the wood, so white-painted woodwork at a lower level can be stained if storm rains penetrate, say, to the unprotected rear surface of cladding. Not resinous.
STUDY: CEDAR IS MOST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CHOICE
Third-Party Study Proves Western Red Cedar is Most Environmentally Friendly Choice for Siding and Decking
Overview of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and why it is important
Consumers of building materials, whether professional architects, engineers and specifiers, or home owners, are increasingly concerned about their environmental “footprint.” They are particular about products they choose and factor environmental considerations into the decision-making process.
Unfortunately, getting the “whole picture” about a product’s environmental impact can be challenging. Most manufacturers only promote a selective criterion of attributes. Sure, a product may be biodegradable or contain recycled content. However, this does not address other key considerations like energy consumed in manufacture, emissions and impact on global warming. Accessing and comparing like information about alternative products is another challenge.
A Life Cycle Assessment or LCA (also known as life cycle analysis, ecobalance, and cradle-to-grave analysis) quantifies environmental impacts of materials in a side-by-side comparison.
LCA measures cradle-to-grave environmental impact through complex analysis of a range of measurables such as resource, water and energy use, emissions, transportation, and waste created. Extraction, manufacture, transportation, consumption or use, and end-of-life disposal practices are examined to create a scorecard against which objective comparisons can be made. Testing is done on a third-party basis, providing consumers reliable data.
Overview of this study
Western Red Cedar Lumber Association (WRCLA) members determined commissioning a third-party LCA of siding and decking products was the only credible way to provide consumers with reliable environmental performance information. To place the study results in sharper perspective, a parallel study of alternative products including brick and fiber cement siding as well as composite decking products was also commissioned.
Forintek, Canada’s leading forest products research organization, conducted the study in accordance with international standards in the ISO 14040/44 series, which requires that all products be treated equally and be of similar quality. Study results were presented for peer review to independent third-party organizations to ensure ISO standards compliance.
For Western Red Cedar products, the study was based on data obtained from a representative cross section of cedar mills in British Columbia and Washington state in 2007. Secondary publicly available data were used to develop life cycle inventories (LCIs) for clay brick, fiber cement and vinyl siding. Cradle-to-grave LCIs for wood-plastic composite decking made with either virgin or reprocessed plastic were also developed using secondary data sources as well as information collected from experts in the petrochemical and wood-plastic composite fields.
In order to evaluate the environmental impacts of the life-cycle stages of product alternatives, the life cycle was modeled as four distinct life-cycle stages: resource extraction and manufacturing, transportation to customer, installation and use, and end-of-life disposition. This approach helps identify where environmental contributions occur within the life cycle of each product system.
Summary of decking and siding findings
The following statements summarize the LCA results of the study for decking and siding products, giving consumers a reliable basis for comparison. Environmental impact measures applied consistently to each product were: total primary energy on a cumulative demand basis, global warming potential, acidification potential, aquatic eutrophication potential, ozone depletion, smog formation potential, and human particulate (respiratory) effects.
Western Red Cedar decking substantially outperformed composite decking in each of the seven criteria tested and was by far the product with the least environmental impact when compared with both virgin and recycled wood-plastic composite decking products.
Even after subjecting the cedar decking results to a “worst case” scenario in which Western Red Cedar required the replacement of 20% of boards in normal service and periodic application of coatings, the environmental impact results remained strongly favorable to Western Red Cedar over a “best case” scenario for composite decking.
Western Red Cedar siding had the best overall performance when compared to vinyl, fiber-cement and brick; it received top marks in five of seven impact criteria, including “global warming potential.”
Total life energy of Western Red Cedar siding can be further improved by altering end-of-life disposal practices away from the assumed practice of 100% landfill, to a mix of reuse, energy recovery and landfilling. This practice, already reality in many communities, results in cedar siding becoming a net “carbon sink;” other products tested remained green house gas contributors.
Cedar siding impact on smog and eutrophication – the criteria in which it was not the leader – can be traced directly to the use of paint, not the natural characteristics of cedar. Use of high quality paints and stains (some of which carry length performance warranties) or the use of the new water borne coatings would have a very positive impact on results.
About Western Red Cedar Lumber Association:
Western Red Cedar Lumber Association (WRCLA) is a Vancouver, B.C. based non-profit association known as “the voice of the cedar industry.” Founded in 1954, the association operates architect advisory and technical service programs throughout the U.S. and Canada. It seeks to inspire, inform and instruct architects and consumers about Western Red Cedar, its uses and benefits.
Western Red Cedar is one of nature’s truly remarkable building materials. Not only does it have distinctive beauty, natural durability and centuries of proven performance, Western Red Cedar is the ultimate green product. It produces fewer greenhouse gases, generates less water and air pollution, requires less energy to produce than alternatives and comes from a renewable and sustainable resource. Equally important, Western Red Cedar is carbon neutral.
For more information please visit, www.wrcla.org.
The following information has been sourced from the Rainforest Information Centre Goodwood Guide. www.rainforestinfo.org.au
Araucaria Cunninghamii is a species of Araucaria known as Hoop Pine. Other less commonly used names include Dorrigo Pine, Colonial Pine, Arakaria and Queensland Pine. The scientific name honours the botanist and explorer Allan Cunningham, who collected the first specimens in the 1820s. Hoop refers to the tendency of the bark to remain as hoops on the forest floor after the timber has decayed. Hoop Pine is a rainforest timber, native to northern NSW, Queensland and the mountain regions of PNG. It is the only native tropical timber grown in substantial quantities in plantations within Australia. (Plantations have been established since the early 1920's, when attempts to source Hoop from naturally regenerated forests failed.) It is the major rainforest species used in plantations in Queensland. From an ethical, sustainable point of view, Hoop Pine is streets ahead of most of its plantation-grown exotic softwood counterparts.
Hoop Pine and the Environment
From an ecological point of view, growing Hoop Pines in plantations is preferable to growing Radiata Pine.
Admittedly, Hoop Pines are, like Radiata, grown in monocultures and at maturity are clearcut. But they have the advantage over exotic timbers in that they at least belong to the land of our region. Hoop pine is native to north-east NSW and southern Queensland, as well as mountainous areas of Papua New Guinea; Radiata comes from a relatively limited area on the west coast of North America, but is planted widely in the world's southern temperate zone (especially South Africa, Chile, New Zealand and Australia).
In Hoop plantations, an understorey can develop which, at least for a few decades under present cutting regimes, provides habitat for other species (of plants and animals), whereas the ground in Radiata plantations is usually covered in a layer of highly acidic pine needles and a few hardy (exotic) weeds, but is otherwise barren. Native plants and animals just cannot make a go of it in or under under these trees. (Go into a radiata plantation: more often than not, all you will hear is the wind sighing in the trees - no birdsong.)
The duration between 'crop-rotations' in a hoop plantation is also longer - about 45 years rather than 35 years, as for Radiata Pine. This gives the other understorey species a longer time-frame within which to establish their habitat before the plantation is again harvested. Hoop Pine plantations are also preferable to Radiata in that they require less fertilisers and/or herbicides.
In NSW, it would appear that demand for Hoop Pine currently outstrips supply, yet there are good supplies of the timber in northern NSW and Queensland.
Nonetheless, the existing plantation estate in Queensland could be expanded for example by converting regional pineapple farms - whose environmental track-record is appalling. (Pineapple farms are highly vulnerable to soil erosion because of archaic management techniques used, and are usually heavily contaminated by pesticides. Retrained pineapple growers would be able to have a less toxic, much safer and more sustainable livelihood!)
Likewise, in the NSW Northern Rivers region, financially beleaguered cattle farmers could transfer to Hoop production and capitalise on the increasing world prices for plantation timber whilst progressively divesting themselves of their devaluing livestock. (Regenerating rainforest in cattle-free riparian zones could also begin to stabilise and restore the region's highly degraded river systems.) With increased supply of the timber, the potential for marketing Hoop Pine both domestically and overseas is huge.
Hoop and Radiata have different site requirements, so expansion of the Hoop plantation estate can complement existing stocks of Radiata. Clearly, the agenda for future timber supplies should include plans for many more mixed-species native softwood and hardwood plantations - Hoop Pine could be one of the dominant species in these, putting it at the forefront of a resurgence of our ailing timber industry.
NB: Be wary of any product with a clear-grade Hoop Pine veneer, as it may come from what are or should be high conservation value [HCV] areas within state forests. Environment groups are campaigning to change the areas of NSW forests which have been reserved for their so-called 'high conservation value', because too many logged-over areas have been included in reserves, and too many high-value old growth forest areas have remained on State Forests' Order of Works.