Monday, 31 May 2010

Lots of big frames

I seem to have alot of large frames to gild at the moment, two 60" x 28", a 36" x 48", the 40" x 50" on the left is for a 19th Century portrait and will be water gilded all over and is the same Neo classical fluted antique style profile as the 48" x 75" in the post from a couple of days ago. Also there are four 1 metre square frames to be done, all these will be water gilded. The three abstracts seen here are by the artist Robert Wright.

Workshop update


The brick laying and roof are pretty much finished, still some block work needed on the back of the building. Next comes the floor.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Big frame

This large Neo classical fluted frame will be water gilded, and is for a mirror, next it will be coated in bole, before the gold leaf can be laid and burnished. In the background is Ian, hard at work.

Frame repairs and restoration

The top frame is a very nice carved 19th Century swept frame which was in for some minor repairs and losses to the gesso and gilding. The plain gold frame was covered in lots of later applied gold paint which had typically oxidized and turned a brown colour. This paint was removed which revealed the original water gilding, much of which was in good condition, about three quarters of this finish is original, with new gilding to match, mainly at the corners.

Pink bole, keys, and dog portraits

The flat slip to fit in the antique frame has been painted with 5 layers of pink bole. Other jobs finished this week are a collection of antique keys framed in two box frames, dog portraits, and various frame repairs.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Float mounted copper sheet

This copper sheet is framed in a water gilded copper leaf box frame, the work is float mounted on wooden blocks to give the floating effect and is glazed with anti reflective glass.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Slip is painted with gesso

The slip I am making for the carved frame below has been painted with seven coats of gesso. Next it will be sanded.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Making a flat water gilded slip

This project is to fit a painting into a carved antique frame, using a flat water gilded slip with a bevelled inner edge, which is only 3mm thick. It started as a 9mm thick slip frame (no rebate), a cabinet maker friend put this through an industrial planer until the required 3mm thickness is reached. This is far to thin to join together securely on the underpinner so a backing frame is made from a deep box frame moulding. This backing frame is constructed with simple butt joints joined with dovetail keys, I could have saved alot of time and just mitred the backing frame and joined on the underpinner, but the butt joint will give much more stability and strength to the mitred slip that will be on top. This will help to reduce the mitres opening up over time. So the slip frame was then glued with polyurethane adhesive and clamped to the backing frame. Once the glue was set the excess outside edges were cut off on a table saw, to fit the rebate of the antique frame. 

The roof is on

The roof was put on the new workshop on Saturday morning, amazing how quickly it was done. There is still some brickwork to be done next week, then the floor will be poured down. We were hoping for a move in date of around the end of June, but I think it will more likely be by the middle of July.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

The 7ft frame is finished

The big 7ft frame was finished and collected on Friday. The painting is by Melvyn Warren-Smith. The frame is water gilded in moon gold with a polished dark wax finish over plum bole.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Landscape and carved frame

This blustery landscape is by one of my favourite artists and customers, Peter Gibbons. I have framed it in a mid 20th century carved pine Carlo Maratta style frame with a limed slip. The frame is heavily distressed with a weather beaten look which I think works well with the painting. Peter paints dramatic and emotionally charged landscapes in oils on canvas.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Bronze powder and painted frame

This oil painting is framed in a gesso frame with a bronze powder gilded and painted finish. First the frame was cut to size, 3 coats of gesso were brushed and sprayed on, it was then sanded lightly. Red bole was painted on the inner and outer parts of the frame, and the bronze powder was stippled on with a brush. The gilded area was then masked off and the centre panel painted. The whole frame was then sealed with an acrylic wax sealer before liming wax and pigments were used to give a soft, pastel effect. A painted gesso slip is used between the frame and the painting.

Joan Miro prints

Just finished a couple of Miro prints, framed in a retro aluminium frame with white painted slip. The print is float mounted on conservation board, fixed with water activated adhesive Japanese paper hinges, and with a spacer to keep it away from the glass.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Sunday work in progress

A few things I have had to come to work to get on with today, the main one is the big frame in the middle photo which is over 7 ft long, it is an urgent order needed for next weekend, it will be gilded so I need to get the gesso coating on today. The top photo is a narrow slip which will also be water gilded, the bits of wood attached to it mean it is easy to move around without pulling the corners apart, as it is quite flimsy. The bottom frame has been gilded with bronze powder. The inner and outer parts of the frame will be painted.

Weekly update

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

3D object framing

This old car badge has been held in place using fully reversible formed rod mounts. Of course you can sometimes use adhesives to hold 3D objects in box frames, but if you want to be able to remove the item and be able to say that the process is non-invasive then this is one way of doing it. This is a sample for my workshop to show customers, the frame is one I had hanging around which I cut down to fit, and is water gilded in 22ct moon gold, ideally the gilding would look better in palladium to match the chrome, but I think it still looks pretty good. 

Antique frame on a holiday souvenir

It is not the usual method of framing paintings bought on holiday, but I think this antique French style moulding frame works very well and is an interesting contrast on this fun painting. The frame is heavily distressed water gilding, with the gesso and wood exposed in places, the whole surface has been protected and stabilised with a consolidating adhesive, to stop any more losses to the surface.

Contemporary portraits by Simon Davis RP RBSA

I have just finished this latest portrait by one of my favourite artists, Simon Davis. The frame is water gilded in 22ct moon gold, with a grey painted scoop panel. We usually use a black frame with either a gold slip or the panel is float mounted, but sometimes we also use gilded and painted frames for his paintings.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

The walls are going up nicely

The walls are going up well, although we have had a fair bit of rain this last week which has slowed progress abit. This is where the front door will be!

large French pastel

This large pastel from the late 19th or early 20th Century by a recognisable French artist was framed in a suitably grand looking frame. The pastel was spaced from the glass with a moongold water gilded bevel slip and the original 5mm wooden spacer fitted around the edge of the stretched material canvas. This gave a space of about 13mm from the glass, which I think is a minimum distance for these antique pastels on canvas, the surface is so delicate that any closer to the glass and the fine pastel can be attracted to the glass by static charge. Even a bump to the frame can cause the pastel dust to be dislodged. I am always glad to get these finished and out of the workshop as quickly as possible. The frame is probably best described as a English version of a French style of frame, a later revival frame, which is a combination of Louis XIV, Regence, and other influences and styles, so really I think it is well suited to the picture.