Friday, 29 June 2012

Large box frame

I have a large frame (48 1/4" x 48 1/4") to make next week from this deep box moulding, so t
hese offcuts will be used to try out some joining methods to make a good and strong joint. I just want to do some test corners before joining the actual frame together. Usually I would use acrylic glazing on this size but the customer has insisted on glass, despite my advice. Due to the depth of the piece being framed there will be no room for a subframe so all of the frame strength will need to be in the corners.


Just a couple of images of the next frames being worked on. The six cassetta profile frames on the white shelves will be gessoed and then gilded and painted, while the frames on the workbench will be a mix of gesso, barewood, painted, and some are pre-finished.

Gesso horse

A slightly more unusual job came in this week, this antique toy horse is made from wood, with the main section consisting of sections laminated together. It has a gesso layer which is badly flaking and delaminating from the wooden substrate. The gesso needs consolidating and then areas where it is missing need infilling. The horse will then go to someone else to have the paint finish restored.

Large canvas

This big painting on canvas is by Broadway artist Jeremy Houghton and has been framed in a gilded and painted frame (ref A160) which we use alot in various different hand finishes
. Jeremy also paints in watercolours and he is an artist in the BT Art of Sport Exhibition which forms part of BT's activities for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, it showcases the work of various artists who are producing paintings inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games, Jeremy has done a series of sporting watercolours, working closely with athletes to really capture the Olympic spirit.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

More routering

The rebate extending continues, this time on the outer veneer frame that will surround the gilt slip from a few posts ago. The rebate on the outer frame was made bigger for a few reasons, firstly the gilded slip was quite wide and would have looked a little unbalanced, secondly there was some damage/chips around the edges that needed covering up, and thirdly and most importantly the frame was a little small so by extending the rebate it also increased the size. In the top photo you can just see the router I use, a Trend T4, it is quite light weight compared to some of the larger routers you can get but I find it fine for this type of work. You can also see safety glasses and ear defenders which are important.
I would like to get a little palm router or laminate trimmer for when you need to nibble a small amount of wood from a rebate, often just at the corners.

So after the rebate was made bigger the frame was broken apart, the nails were removed from the corners and it was cut to size on the mitre saw, glued, pinned, and then clamped.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Parcel gilt

The inner, outer, and sides are water gilded, and the middle scoop section is stained and waxed.

Gilded oak

The oak frame mentioned in an early post, it has been water gilded in 23.5ct gold leaf. It was then distressed lightly with 0000 wire wool and then given a coat of weak size with a small amount of pigment added to give a light patina. Next came a brushing over with medium oak wax before a very small amount of rottenstone was dusted all over.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Wide rebate

This antique slip frame of mine is being cut down and used on an antique painting, the rebate has been extended as much as possible to cover some areas of damage around the painting. Next I will cut down the outer frame, which is an antique veneered frame, which has been supplied by the customer.

Gesso frame

This frame was cut and joined, it was given a size (primer) coat of glue and was then painted with 5 thick coats of gesso. It was given a light sanding, just exposing some of the timber round the edges to give a slight distressed finish. It was then sealed with clear wax and finally had a coat of white liming wax. It is a simple finish but still has a handmade and crafted look. 

Gilded wood

These two frames are slightly different to my usual gilded and painted frames that I make every week. The top frame has the centre section masked off, this will be a stained finish and the inner and outer parts of the moulding will be gilded. The frame above is oak which has been painted with bole and will be gilded so that the wood grain will be visible.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Frames in progress

These are some of the next batch of frames being worked on, some to be gilded and some with paint finishes. All are in obeche wood except for two which are made from oak. The nice reproduction frame on the table was not made by me, but is just getting a repair done, and having some museum glass fitted.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

2 rush jobs

I had a couple of rush jobs come in this week which were interesting to analyse. Both original charcoal works on paper, the first picture (top 2 photos) was almost certainly framed originally in America, you can see the image had slipped down from the mount. The mount was a deep inner with a standard thickness outer, both of which were covered in fine material. This is common practice in the US but is currently not that popular over here, although I don't know why as I think the effect can look excellent. I do have three silk covered mounts to do in the coming weeks and it is something I would like to do more of in the future.
Anyway back to the first frame, (which was a lovely antique French Louis XVI profile) the glazing was Optium acrylic which is a high quality glazing offering anti-reflective viewing, high clarity and colour rendition, high UV filter level and is virtually unbreakable.  
The picture was backed with Correx which offers good puncture resistance, rigidity, waterproofing, and is totally inert and free from impurities unlike MDF or corrugated board backings. The artwork was hinged to the backing undermount using a Japanese paper which is precoated with wheat starch adhesive - a good quality tape but this work really deserved hinges which were made using fresh wheat starch and Japanese paper hinges. The traditional method of fixing artwork on paper to a mount and undermount is to use two hinges at the top of the art.

The Frametek website describes and illustrates this much better than I could ever hope to explain clearly: 

The basic idea with hinges is that the paper is free to move with changes in temperature and humidity, and should the frame be dropped and the art be subjected to a forceful shock, the hinge should be weaker than the art paper and it will be the hinge that breaks, reducing any damage to the artwork. 
A hinge will sometimes fail during shipping as the art is handled and moved around, pictures should always be kept upright if possible as when they are put sideways stress is put on the hinge. 
That is enough about the first picture, all I had to do was take it apart, and re-hinge it, I also added some loose fitting melinex corners which would add support to the art if the hinges failed again during shipping.

The second picture (bottom 2 photos) was to be fitted into a new frame, again it was a charcoal on paper, it came to me glazed with Tru Vue Museum glass which offers a high UV filter (at a sacrifice of colour transition) with good anti-reflection, but that is were the good points end as the paper was framed directly against the glass, this is very bad as moisture can condense on the inside of the glass and cause severe damage to the art. So I added a deep spacer mount, cut from museum board, a 2mm thick museum undermount, and a Correx backing.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Simple repair progress

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Jubilee Celebrations

Here is a painting to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, celebrating 60 years of the Queen's reign. It is called 'Off to the Jubilee Party', and features Mr Mustard, Doris, and special guests.
I am framing  a large number of wonderful paintings by Sam Toft at the moment, for an exhibition at
John Noott Galleries in Broadway from 30th June 2012 to 15th July 2012.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Double Double Thick

Mountboard comes in various thicknesses, the standard and most common being between 1.4 and 1.5mm, but there are also boards available at (for example): 2mm, 2.2mm, 3mm, 3.5mm and the thickest at 4.1mm which is only available in white.

As with jumbo (large external) sized boards the colour choice decreases as the thickness increases. I find the metric measurement of mountboard thickness easy to understand, some suppliers use another system where the thickness is measured in 'ply', so 4 ply is the standard (1.5mm?) and 8 ply is double thick (3mm?).

I use a range of museum mountboards which have a solid colour throughout, they come in about 50 colours at 1.5mm, with about 6 colours at 3mm thick. Because the core is a solid colour you can easily laminate two 1.5mm boards together to give a good range of colours at 3mm thick. In the photos above I am laminating two 3mm thick boards together to give a monster 6mm thick piece of mountboard.

I mixed up some wheat starch paste and used a roller to spread over the board, put the boards together (cut at 24" x 32" which was slightly oversize so they could be cut to size after gluing) and weighted down with sheets of glass.
After a day the board was cut to size and then the bevelled aperture was cut on the mount cutter, I guess if you have a CMC (computerised mount cutter) then this thickness of board would be a doddle to cut, but with a manual cutter it takes a little bit of calibrating and fiddling about. You can see the mount cutter blade has had a small section removed to allow it to cut through fully, in this photo you can also see a test mount which was made from two different colours of board. Cutting was done at two depth increments as the blade was flexing too much in one cut. In the last photo you can see the finished result - a double double thick mount with a very big bevel.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Minor repairs

Here are a couple of antique frames that need straight forward repairs, the French swept style frame just has a few areas of damage and missing plaster ornament, you can see at the corner where a wire support is used inside the moulded ornament. The English Carlo type frame is in a worse condition and will take a while longer, with lots of missing gesso around the sides and at the corners to fill.