Sunday, 30 October 2011


The string that was holding this painting on the wall broke, and the frame crashed to the floor. Most of the missing sections have been kept so it is just a case of piecing them back together. The painting is 19th Century, although the frame is not original and was added in the last 20-30 years.

A framed textile

This textile has been stretched over foamboard and secured in place with T-pins, it has been double mounted and the framed in an antique looking gold frame. This frame has a generous rebate depth, which makes framing textiles much easier as the combination of glass, mount, foamboard and backing is usually quite deep. 

Another hand made finish

Gilding with a heavy patina and burnished black bole over red.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Distressed gilding

This heavily distressed frame is water gilded in 18ct green gold on the flat and outer, with 12ct white gold on the inner section. I think it will make a very decorative and unusual hand made mirror frame. The profile is the same inner part that we used on the cassetta frame in the previous couple of posts.

Finished cassetta frame

Colouring a panel

The wide cassetta frame being coloured with wax and then dry pigments, to get a distressed type paint finish.

This watercolour is by Broadway artist Karen Grant, it has been float mounted on mountboard and a spacer in the rebate keeps the painting away from the glass.

Friday, 28 October 2011

More masking tape nastiness

Here is another example of poor quality tape used in picture framing, from the front you can see the adhesive seeping through and marking the image, and the photo of the back shows the culprit is masking tape.

Green/grey painting

The water gilded cassetta frame is being painted with a greeny/grey paint.

Black frame

This deep cove shaped frame is a lovely shape and has a sprayed black finish which is finished with wax and a good polish. The moulding is bought in ready coated in gesso, which can then be finished with gilding or a paint effect.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Louis XVI

This is a nice example of an antique Louis XVI style frame which could be also called a neoclassical frame, with carved ornament and water gilded finish. It is probably French, late 18th or early 19th Century. It needs some minor repairs and will be cut down to fit an antique print.

Limed oak

Another week is over and the last job finished this afternoon was this wood engraving by Howard Phipps. It has been mounted in a soft white museum board and framed in a simple limed oak frame.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Gilding progress...

Here is the next stage of making the wide cassetta frame, which Mark has been water gilding today. He also finished some lovely burnished samples, in 23.5ct gold and 22ct moon gold. The Duncan MacGregor paintings are all ready and waiting to be delivered, and various other jobs have been started and finished today, can't believe another week is nearly over!

Antique French frame labels

Framing an original print

This original print is mounted with 3mm thick cotton museum mountboard, it is glazed with UV filter glass, and the frame is a classic water gilded and highly burnished finish. The shape of the profile is often called a bolection or simply a reverse. The gilding has been given a small amount of distressing.
I think certain profiles with a water gilded finish suit the work of artists like Graham Sutherland and Francis Bacon very well, often using the distressing and revealing the leaf overlaps as a distinct and intentional effect, they give a period look and it is perhaps close to how the artists may have originally framed their work.

Two mouldings joined together

This frame is made from two mouldings which have been slightly modified, the wide flat profile has had a 1/2” cut off the outer edge, removing the outer hollow. The deep frame has been reduced in depth by 1” at the back and also had a 1/4” cut from the top of the profile. The frames are then joined and glued together so they can be sized, and covered in gesso and bole. Next comes the polishing of the bole before it is water gilded.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Duncan MacGregor at Broadway Modern

Here are the last few frames to be made for a big exhibition of paintings by Duncan MacGregor, held at Broadway Modern gallery each year. We will have framed 40 paintings by Duncan and the exhibition starts on Saturday 5th November.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Frame display

It has taken me over a year since moving in, but I have at last started putting some frames on display in the reception room! A selection of antique, period, reproduction, and recently made frames. I intend to cover every remaining bare patch of wall in frames, going through to the kitchen, and even in the toilet!

Burnished gilding with wash

Burnished water gilding

Here is the frame from the previous post after it has been burnished. This is done with a tool made from agate, the surface is rubbed which condenses the leaf into the bole and gives a deep reflective finish which resembles solid gold.

Gilded frames

Poor choice of tape

Here is another example of how not to mount a picture. This original drawing has been fixed to the mount with masking tape (not by us!), which is not suitable for mounting pictures. The adhesive will change rapidly, either drying out completely or turning into an aggressive gooey mess, nice.

It has been a rather forgettable week at the workshop, I have made a few mistakes measuring up jobs, cut a few frames and mounts the wrong size, and made various other minor errors. On top of all that I have had a headache since Thursday, oh well things could be worse, best just to smile and carry on!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Frame samples

These water gilded and painted frames have been made by Mark, who started working with me in April. They have been made from offcuts of moulding and can now be sold in the shop.

Gesso and bole

The white frames are being covered in gesso, the red frames come with gesso ready applied and have been painted with bole, they will then be water gilded in 12ct white gold.