Friday, 30 September 2011

Bat watch

Just as I was about to close the roller shutter door this afternoon, I saw this little bat clinging to the wall, right next to the door, and only a couple of feet off the ground. I think it is a called a Pipistrelle bat. 

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Oak frames

We have a big order on at the moment for lots of prints and photographs framed in oak frames, here are a few of them!

Cool frame with offset corners

This great looking polished wood and veneered frame came in today to have a few changes made to it...
It is not that old, but a reproduction, I think the style is 17th Century.

Finished frame

Applying a colour wash

Here I am applying a colour wash to a frame, this is a water based emulsion which is mixed 1 part paint to 5 parts water.  

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

When the back is as good as the front

I have mentioned before how much I like the back of frames nearly as much as the front, and like a true frame nerd I regularly take photos of the backs, corners, and old labels. Here are a few examples showing some different joining methods: a butterfly key at the top, then a dovetail joint, the middle photo shows a Newcomb Macklin style ply spline, and the last two are mitre splines. There are some other methods used traditionally which I will post another time, I will also post some modern methods when I get a chance.

I think if you pick up an antique or old frame and see any of these joining methods, it straight away stands out as a very well crafted frame. I think old framers labels should be photographed for historical record, many are clearly fragile and should be protected with a piece of melinex.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Colouring the bronze gilt frames

Painting frames

Here are the two bronze powder frames being painted and finished. The gilding is masked off and then the middle section is painted. You can also see some samples being painted.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Bronze finish

These two frames have been sprayed with gesso, then painted with red bole on the inner and outer sections, and in these photos I am brushing on bronze powder bound in glue. The middle section will be painted.

Painting by Jeremy Houghton

The finished framing for Jeremy Houghton, an old frame with contemporary painting.

More gilded box frames

Here are some more box frames that we have been finishing off this week, again they are gilded in 12ct white gold, which is slightly distressed to reveal the bole and leaf overlaps. The sides are painted, then the whole frame is then sealed with an acrylic varnish. Because of the 50% silver content in white gold, the surface will tarnish over time, this is accelerated by handling and finger prints. A coat of sealer or varnish helps protect the surface and prevents the leaf from tarnishing.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Strap clamps

These box frames have been joined and then clamped, they are then left over night before being prepared for gilding.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

A nice carved wood frame

This nice little antique frame is carved, it certainly has some character about it, I especially like the mortice and tenon (I think that's the name) jointed backing frame. It is being used to frame a contemporary painting, which is something I enjoy doing, as I like combining old with new.


Here are a few samples that we have been making recently. It is often the case that a finish will be adjusted for each painting or individual job, so we don't have that many on display in the shop. I have wanted to try and standardise the finishes and increase the number on display for quite some time, as there are a number that we use regularly. A finished sample with the exact colour references, paints used, and how it was achieved will make it a lot easier to make our regular frame effects.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

White gold box frames

These box frames have been water gilded in 12ct white gold, this leaf is a 50/50 mix of gold and silver.

Two 19th Century Barbizon frames

These are a pair of good quality, nicely made, French composition frames. They are having some minor repairs.  

Moon gold

Here are two paintings on canvas, they have been framed in water gilded and painted frames. The gilding is in 22ct moon gold. Which is a mix of 22 parts gold and 2 parts palladium.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Rugby Shirt

It's the rugby world cup at the moment, so here is a signed England rugby shirt that has recently been framed. 

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Carlo Maratta frame

This is a classic example of a carved and gilded, English 18th Century Carlo Maratta frame. It has come in for some minor repairs, and to have a sight edge slip fitted. It was cut down sometime in the past, luckily it is a good fit for the customers painting, although needs a very narrow slip to cover some rough edges around the canvas. A Maratta frame of this size (rebate 25" x 30") could cost anywhere between £1000 and £1500

Duncan MacGregor at Broadway Modern

We have recently been working on lots of paintings by Duncan MacGregor, for his annual exhibition at Broadway Modern. They are framed in a white scoop shape slip with a chunky silver square frame.

Work in progress

Here are a selection of jobs we are working on at the moment, from the top we have a late 20th Century English swept frame with some minor damage, you can see the white sections I have replaced.

Next we have a frame which is being painted with red bole, this is one of two frames for paintings of African elephants and rhino, the other frame can be seen at the top right.

Our make-shift drying rack (some shelves) has 5 frames which have been painted with gesso.

Then we have two photos of some antique gilded frames which need tidying up. I especially like the bevel profile with shot inner ornament.

The last photo shows two frames which have been gessoed and then painted, they will next have a very pale/subtle colour wash. That's it for now!

Edward Noott gilded and painted frames

We have just finished a big order of frames for an exhibition of paintings by Edward Noott. They are water gilded, most in 23.5ct gold, but a few in 12ct white and 22ct moon. The gilding is combined with paint, washes, and colouring with pigments. The exhibition will be at John Noott Galleries in Broadway and it opens on 24th September 2011.