Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re just entering the canvas trade or are unhappy with your current projects, you should begin with the Basic Workshop—even if you have experience sewing clothing, draperies, or factory piecework. This is because sewing is only one part of canvas making; you must also learn other equally important techniques to successfully fabricate canvas.
The logical progression is to complete the Basic, Advanced, and Bimini Enclosure Workshops in that order before moving on to the Marine Upholstery or Rigid Enclosure Workshop.
Experienced canvas fabricators are not required to take courses that are below their level of expertise. Experienced fabricators should speak with one of our instructors before scheduling a class to ensure proper placement.
Once you have the basic supplies needed, you should be able to produce the product immediately upon completing the course. People learn and work at different paces. In our case, we were able to produce one of our most complex projects within the first nine months in business without any previous experience.
Each course teaches you to fabricate different canvas products. As you complete each workshop, the next course offers additional fabricating techniques, a higher level of difficulty, and more advanced trim.
On average, each product will sell for a price that is equal to or greater than the cost of the course tuition, depending on the size of boat and your market area.
While most people can easily learn to make custom canvas, there are physical demands that you may wish to consider before entering the canvas trade. Canvas fabricators are often required to climb a ladder, carry a toolbox, and handle objects weighing as much as fifty pounds. A good sense of balance and at least average dexterity is very helpful.
Each student will receive a workbook. Each workbook pertains to a specific course and contains specific instruction and techniques for fabricating various canvases. Our instruction workbooks also include subjects such as frame-bending, necessary tools, suppliers, management and marketing, estimates, cleaning and care, and contracts. At the end of the course, students will receive a certificate of completion.
No! All tools, materials, and supplies necessary for the workshop are provided. Although we’ll gladly sell you the supplies necessary to open a canvas shop, we are not pushy about it. We even provide you a list of other wholesale vendors to choose from.
Class size is limited to eight students in order to provide individual attention and hands-on training for each student.
Workshops begin at 9 am on Monday and 8 am Tuesday–Friday. Lunch break is one hour. We end at 5 pm each day. Each Saturday seminar begins at 8 am and ends between 3pm and 5pm. Friday Seminars are 5pm to 8pm.
After the course is completed, we encourage students to call or email if they need further information or encounter a problem. We encourage experienced students to contact us, or post to our Suppport Forum, with any problem they are experiencing prior to attending a workshop so we can address the issue with you in class.
Bring a digital camera! We welcome students to take as many photos as you wish! We ask only that you not use video cameras. Also bring a comfortable pair of non-marking shoes, such as tennis shoes, gum sole, or deck shoes.
Students may access the Internet through our guest terminal.
Likely, you fly into Cleveland-Hopkins (CLE) International Airport. From there, it’s approximately 1 hour 15 minutes by car to our facility. For private pilots, we are located 1 mile from the Ottawa County airport (PCW), which can accommodate up to small jet traffic.