Saturday, 31 July 2010


After over 2 years of planning and building work, I started the move into my new workshop on Friday! Most of the boxes and smaller items were moved on Friday evening, and today most of the other equipment went over, all that remains to be moved is the large items such as benches and various large pieces of equipment. Its going to take a good few weeks to get it all straight and up and running. Tomorrow I will lay the laminate flooring in the office/reception room so this room can be completed as quickly as possible. 

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The move begins...


The workshop move has started this week, with things being boxed up, ready for the weekend. I should have the keys sometime on Friday so all of the smaller items will be moved over the weekend. Then on Monday and Tuesday the large fittings and equipment can be moved out. The back partition wall of the workshop is being opened up, this leads to another unit which has large double doors, so the bulky items can be taken out through these big doors and then a forklift will take them to the new unit.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

love is where you find it.

Look for it...

More repairs.....

This swept frame was brought in for some minor repairs to the corners. The last few weeks have been very busy, with no time to even take photos and post them on the blog.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Another frame for repair

This Louis XIV style corner and centre frame needs some repairs around the sight edge and sanded frieze, and really just a very good, all round tidy-up.

Frame for repair

This nice antique frame has come in this week for some minor repair work. The rebate is split in places and all four mitres are very loose and wobbly. The bold wave pattern in the central frieze is known as a wave scroll, Vitruvian wave, Greek wave, or running dog pattern. The design is a common classical architectural pattern. The ornaments either side of the wave scroll are more classical patterns known as waterleaf and tongue.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Main workshop area


Only 10 full working days left until the planned completion date, the builders are working flat out, but even so I think it will be more like the 30th July. All of the internal steels still have to be painted with several coats of fire retardant paint, this is quite a big job. I believe this is a relatively new EU building regulation, which is understandable for buildings with several stories but seems a little extreme for a single level workshop.

The office/reception room and kitchen

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Large water gilded frame and mirror

This large water gilded mirror frame is now finished and collected. The fluted cove frame is 4 1/2" wide, it is water gilded in 23.5ct gold leaf with bronze powdered sides and with a traditional dark ochre painted back edge. The external size is 48" x 75".

The backing is external plywood which has been waterproofed both sides as the mirror will be hanging in a bathroom. This is not the ideal location for a water gilded frame so the gilding has been protected with Lascaux UV protect 3, which is an archival spray varnish which gives a hard wearing, flexible, non-yellowing, and waterproof film. The whole back of the frame and the 6mm MDF corner brackets and blocks supporting the hanging fittings have been sealed with Paraloid B72 (a high quality archival acrylic resin adhesive which is also used in the Lascaux UV protect 3 varnish). The frame is hung with four 12" Z bar hangers and two heavy duty mirror plates. The rebate of the frame has been lined with foam to cushion the mirror and to help reduce the risk of breakage during moving and hanging.

Louis XIII frame

This style of moulding and frame is generally called a Louis XIII, I bought the basic moulding, with the scrolls and flower pattern in a 3m length, it is cut to size on a mitre saw and joined together, then I applied the acanthus leaves over the corners. This hides the mitres and makes it look more handmade. I then sprayed a couple of coats of gesso all over. Next a couple of coats of yellow bole are applied, then red bole is painted on the high lights of the ornament. Bronze powder bound in rabbit skin glue is stippled on the frame, then the high lights are given a rub with an agate burnisher. The final stage is some distressing and colouring over the gold to knock it back and give a softer finish.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Workshop is getting there...


I have not had chance to do an update on the workshop for a couple of weeks. The moving date is still hopefully going to be on Monday 26th July. The internal painting is nearly finished, and the reception room walls and ceiling are coming on really well. Next week the electrician starts work.

18th Century portrait framing

Here is a photo of the water gilded frame I was working on a while ago. The painting is by Arthur William Devis, and was painted in the late 18th Century.

A few recent framing jobs

The top photo is of three more Sam Toft pencil drawings, for the big Toft exhibition at John Noott Galleries, opening this weekend. The paper is float mounted on 5mm foamboard over a dark grey mountboard, and framed in a silver/pewter/black frame. 

The second photo is a group of paintings by Jeremy Houghton, again float mounted and framed in a wenge solid wood frame. A spacer keeps the work away from the anti reflective glass.