Sunday, 28 February 2010

Front view of the new workshop

Starting to look like a building...


The steel framework was put up this week, now we just need some good, dry weather so the brickwork can be done.
Work is flooding in at the moment, and no sign of it slowing down. I can't wait to move into the new workshop!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Water gilded Valentine's frame

A water gilded frame for my wife, (she added the heart stickers in the corners!) with punched pattern on the gilding. The heart was oil gilded on canvas.

The foundations are nearly finished

The concrete foundations are nearly finished.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Don't put art against glass!

Most framers will advise you not to put art in a frame without a mount, spacer, or slip. This photo of a very nice drawing by Elisabeth Frink shows what happens, moisture condenses behind the glass and can have a very damaging effect. Luckily the paper had not stuck to the glazing.

Monday, 8 February 2010

The foundations are being laid

February 8th 2010 - The foundations are being dug and put in place

Ground works for the workshop

January 2010. After nearly 2 years of planning, the ground works have started! There will be two workshop units built on the site.

New workshop plans



My workshop is on a small industrial estate in the countryside, currently I am in a 900 sq ft unit which is a good size but it is basically a large garden shed. This photo (taken summer 2009) shows where my new unit is being built. It is sad to see the trees going but more are being planted in other areas of the estate.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

The finished framing





The silver leaf was distressed, given some patination and then sealed. The picture is glazed with Schott Mirogard UV plus, the mount is Colourmount bright white cotton museum board.

Gilding the frame


The frame and slip are water gilded all over in silver leaf. The flowers, words, and the incised flowers on the slip were all burnished.

The frame and slip painted with bole

The raised edges and pastiglia were painted with Baroque brown bole. The slip and frame are now ready to be gilded.

Incised detail on mount slip

The corners of the mount slip were incised with small flower designs, and also painted with bole.

Painting on the bole

The frame was painted with Victorian grey bole (rabbit skin glue and fine clay), bole is needed to create a water gilded finish.

Doing the pastiglia decoration

I drew in pencil the stylized jasmin flowers, and also the words 'love' and 'peace' on the top and bottom sections. These patterns were built up with gesso, an old technique called pastiglia. This is a time consuming process. When the pastiglia was dry it was sanded smooth.

The frame and slip are sprayed with gesso

I brushed on a coat of gesso (made from rabbit skin glue and whiting), and then sprayed on two coats. When the gesso was dry it was sanded smooth.

Sizing the barewood

I sized the obeche frame and slip with rabbit skin glue, this prepares the surface for the gesso. It prevents the glue from the gesso being absorbed into the wood and therefore creating a weak bond between wood and gesso.

The mount slip ready to be joined

The mount slip sections are cut and ready to be joined. The corner sections (the off sets) were joined with glue and clamped. Then these were joined to the lengths on the underpinner.

Making the mount slip

I decided to also make a slip for the mount, this would also have off set style corners. These were cut on the Morso.

The basic frame shape is finished

Here is the basic frame profile, with the image it was made for. The photograph was taken by the iconic photographer Philip Townsend.

Gluing on the raised edges

Cut out the off set corners

I made lots of drawings and designs. The frame will be my modern take on, and inspired by the Italian cassetta, French flower corner, and English Kent frames.

Take one plain and rather boring frame.


I thought I would start of my frame blog with one of my favourite frames I have made, Its a flat 3" wide obeche moulding. I admit it looks very boring at the moment, but it will soon start to look better...