Friday, 30 December 2011

Year's end

The end of another year of framing, thank you to all my customers, clients, the framers I work with, and suppliers, and all of you who watch and visit the blog. Next year will see the launch of a blog/site for selling antique, repro, old, and new frames. There are various ideas for improving the workshop, production, and the frames and services we offer. These will no doubt be shown on the blog!

Happy New Year to everyone.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Last few jobs





Here are a few of the frames that have been finished off this week, some of our typical gilded and painted frames, and a stained and waxed frame. The three gilded frames are all the same moulding profile, just with different sections gilded or not gilded.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Finished Neoclassical frame


Cut down


It can be a little nerve racking cutting down antique frames. The timber is often less than straight, compo can be brittle and prone to breaking very easily, the gesso can be also be fragile and poorly secured to the wood.
The last part of this Watts frame was relatively easy to cut down, the compo and gesso was very secure, so no bits broke away as it was cut. Now for some small repairs and it will be ready to frame an antique painting.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

2 cut down, 1 to go

Nearly finished this sample


Friday, 16 December 2011

Frame sites

I haven't done a link to interesting framing websites for ages, so much for my regular feature of linking to great frame sites! Maybe I will try and do more in 2012, and maybe one day I will even get round to updating the links on my website.

There are quite a few good articles and papers on frames and framing on the V&A website, this link is to a detailed article on making a replica tabernacle frame for a 15th Century painting of 'The Virgin and Child' by Carlo Crivelli. There are lots of good photos covering each stage and it's interesting to see a museums methods.

Antique frame cut down x3



These three frames make up a classic Watts frame; an inner husk type compo pattern, a flat oak veneer, and an outer acanthus leaf compo pattern. It will be cut down to fit a 19th Century painting. Always a bit of a shame to cut down an antique frame but it will be a good period frame for the painting.

Now for some....gilding



The reproduction neoclassical frame has been water gilded this week. The top photo shows it with the yellow bole base layer, some red bole was put on top of the yellow. Although as is traditional, no red was put in the recesses of the egg and dart as this makes gilding the carved areas much easier. 

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Second Empire



Another antique frame for some little repairs, we will also cut some glass and fit in a print. It's another French frame, in the second empire style, although I usually just describe this as neoclassical, anyway it has some nice original burnished gilding and is in pretty good condition.

Corner and centre frame





This wonderful 17th/18th Century Louis XIV frame is carved from oak, it looks as if it has been cut down during the 19th Century to fit the current painting, (which is by a French 19th Century artist) this fits in with the practice at the time of using earlier frames, especially this corner and centre style. Interestingly the artist actually worked as a picture frame maker, along with his Father. Who knows, maybe this frame was chosen by the artist or maybe by a dealer or gallery, either way it is a lovely antique frame.
My favourite detail on this frame is the variation in the cross hatched ground, it uses four different types of pattern for the centres, the corners, and the areas between the two. It's subtle but shows some extra time and thought went into the making.

Draught exclusion


The roller shutter door is not the most insulated or energy efficient, especially in this windy weather it is really quite draughty, so this giant tarpaulin has been put up to keep out the breeze. It still needs some work at the top of the door, but it will help keep in a little extra heat.

Great antique frame




This lovely 19th Century French Barbizon or Salon frame came in today for some repairs, I think it's just about as good a compo or plaster ornamented frame as you could hope to see. The ornament looks as if it could have been carved, instead of looking moulded, the gilding is highly burnished and all round it's a quality frame.

Lots of old frames





We are working on quite a few repair, restoration, a re-finishing of antique frames at the moment. There are three Watts frames, one is a frame of mine which is being cut down to fit a 19th C painting, and the other two have both had the wire/hangers fail resulting in lots of broken areas of compo. 
The top two photos (the red frame) are a carved frame which is being re-finished. There is also a photo of the neoclassical frame after it has been gessoed.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Acanthus leaves

Quick repair


Filler, sand, pink bole, gold leaf, toning, finished.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Big gesso chip



This antique water gilded frame has a big chip to the gesso, and some other small bits missing. It's a simple but very nice profile, made up from lots of rounded mouldings.

Distressed frame finish


This frame has water gilding over red bole in 12ct white gold on the sight edge and outer part of the profile, the whole frame is then finished with a heavily distressed paint and wax finish.

Profile is nearly finished


In this post the last pieces of wood are applied to the outside of this profile, next comes some mitre leaves over the outside of the corners, we can then start sizing the wood and painting on the gesso.