Thursday, 31 May 2012

Re-gilded swept

This antique swept frame had a dull paint finish, it has been re-finished in metal leaf, sealed with shellac, waxed, and dusted with pigment.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Bamboo effect frame

Bamboo style frames are not something we use very often but they can be great for framing some Oriental and Far Eastern work. This moulding comes unfinished, it is obeche with the bamboo pattern made from moulded pasta material (wood pulp/binders) I made the frame and sprayed it with gesso, it was given a red base colour and then gilded in metal leaf. The gilding was distressed and then given a coat of button polish, a coat of black paint was applied all over and wiped off. Next it was covered in dark wax which was also wiped away with a cloth, finally some raw umber pigment was dusted over and the whole frame was given a good polish.

Finished custom frame

This is the customised frame that has been in a couple of recent posts, it has now been finished. The gilding was distressed a little and masked off, and the outer section was painted with acrylic primer and then with an off-white. Then some watered down paint was flicked and splattered carefully all over. The frame was finished with some sealer and oak wax.
The inner frame is painted grey, then has the same paint wash flicked all over before being finished with oak wax.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Skip find

This antique mirror frame came into the workshop this afternoon, it was being thrown away and was on top of a pile of household rubbish in a skip! One of my regular customers  saw it and asked how much the throwers-away wanted for it, but they did not want any cash, they were just happy for it to be taken away. This was in a village close to the workshop, I wish I had driven past and seen it first!

It's in good condition, various areas of damage to the gesso/gilding, some missing ornament, and one of the column capitals has a section missing, but once all this is repaired it will be a great overmantle mirror.

Metal leaf and acrylic size


This is the frame from a few days ago which I modified, it has been painted with several layers of gesso, then it was sanded and the area to be gilded was painted with a red water based paint. Next I masked off the area where the gilding would be and brushed on an acrylic gold size, once the size became tacky I applied the metal leaf.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Repairs to a compo frame

This antique frame had various missing pieces of compo ornament, all four corners had lost the mitre ribbons/straps. Easy enough to model free-style but I took a mould from the  big 50" x 40" portrait frame from a few posts ago, which had exactly the same laurel leaf and berry ornament and corners.

Modify a moulding

This bevel shaped obeche moulding has been run through the table saw three times to create a new profile. It will have a gilded and painted finish. A saw is very useful for easily and safely modifying mouldings, even just being able to make a moulding or slip narrower makes it possible to meet different requirements.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Olympics 2012

The Olympic games opens on July 27th, here is my little display to celebrate the games being in England this summer! The stock photo is one I used in an Olympic themed framing competition a few years ago, it has been temporarily put in this 18th Century frame, simply because it fitted. The photo was originally in the frame you can just see behind the easel which is gilded in gold, silver, and bronze. This frame is now used to hold a selection of newspaper cuttings and articles I have collected over the years.
I was very lucky to get a pair of tickets for three different events, so I am really looking forward to the summer games.

Bronze gilt finish

Here are 5 of the 6 frames which have just been finished in an antique bronze coloured gilt effect. All of the frames needed an awful lot of work filling missing areas of gesso, and it is unusual for such a dark bronze finish to be used on antique frames (usually we are removing it!) but the bronze theme is an important part of the clients design brief.

Broadway Arts Festival 2012

Orange Lilies, Broadway, Worcestershire c1911 by Alfred Parsons RA.
Copyright Royal Academy of Arts; photographer J Hammond.
The second biennial Broadway Arts Festival starts on Saturday 9th June 2012 and runs to Sunday 17th June 2012. Celebrating the work of John Singer Sargent RA and the Broadway Colony, featuring artist and garden designer Alfred Parsons RA (1847-1920)
A major exhibition featuring over twenty oils and watercolours by renowned 19th century artist and garden designer Alfred Parsons RA, together with other important works will be held at:

There is an extensive range of artist workshops and master classes, lectures on art history, and many other events. This years painting competition theme is 'In the Garden', and I will again be sponsoring a prize, more details on the competition in a later post.

Antique portrait frame

This 19th Century Neo-classical cove frame was one I had in stock, a good standard size at 50" x 40" so it was only a matter of time before a painting came along that it was perfect for, and it is always nice to try and use an antique frame if possible instead of making a reproduction.
The frame was overpainted and had lots of little pieces of compo missing, and damage to the gesso on the cove. The pictures are not in order but show it before, during the overpaint is being removed with acetone, during oil gilding, and finished. The painting was sent away to be restored.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Silver and black frame detail

A bought in pre-gessoed frame, which is usually used as a bevelled slip/liner, is painted with black paint, the bevel is oil gilded (1 hour size) in silver leaf and then heavily distressed with the edges of the frame rubbed through to the gesso base.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Another round antique frame

Here is another round antique frame, probably early 19th Century. It is an English Neo- classical profile, just a deep cove with triple half round outer moulding with about 8 cross ribbons, and a leaf tip sight edge. One thing I love about antique frames, which I have been meaning to mention before, is the bole colour. They seem to have a subtlety which is not seen in off-the-shelf bole colours and can only be achieved with careful mixing. The pinks, reds, yellows, and especially the greys/blacks of the bole on antique frames really do add something to the quality of how a frame looks.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Very cool round frame

An unusual very deep round frame with laurel leaf and berry compo pattern. It needs a huge amount of filling/sanding, and will have an antique bronze finish to go in a contemporary interior as a mirror.

More frames...

A real classic Victorian compo frame that was re-gilded all over in matt oil gilding. Inside it is another antique frame with an antique bronze finish, and above is a pile of frames waiting to be joined together.

A load of gilded and painted frames

Just a small selection of the many gilded and painted frames we have made over the past month.

3 frames from ages ago.... finished


These are just some finished frames that I posted about a while ago. The swept frame at the top was water gilded with burnished sections and a soft antique finish. The big tray frame had a distressed paint finish, and the bottom frame was a simple bronze powder gilded and waxed paint finish.