Sunday, 30 September 2012

Silk mounts and gold slips

Fabric covered mounts can look great, they seem to be very popular in America but for some reason they are not that big over here.
The mounts above are covered in a pongee silk with a gold mount slip.

First I cut the bevel edged mount as usual although the bevel was reversed which is common practice when you intend to add a mount slip (some people call them fillets). The silk was adhered to the face of the mount and the excess was removed from the aperture with just 3/4" of  overhang which could be folded round and stuck down at the back. I then put some double sided tape, called fillet tape, on the back of the mount close to the aperture edge. The gold mount slip was cut to size and fixed in place with the double sided tape. The bottom photo shows the mount slip has been covered with aluminium foil tape which protects the artwork from any impurities in the wooden slip.

White gold and painted, next stage...

The next stage in making this frame was to paint over the acrylic primer undercoat with two coats of lime white on the flat and inner section of the moulding. I then stippled on some watered down grey/pink paint all over the lime white painted section. The stippled paint on the inner moulded part of the frame was wiped down with a damp cloth; just leaving some paint in the recesses. I am just doing one paint colourwash on this frame but more can be used, along with splatters and speckles to add to the effect. The 3M tape was removed and next I will apply some wax and pigments.

Last stages of the corner and centre frame

In the two photos above I am applying a light gold bronze powder, mixed with rabbit skin glue, to the Louis XIV style corner and centre frame from a few posts ago. The mix is quite thin so you get some of the base colours coming through.

Once the gilt finish is dry it was rubbed carefully with wire wool to make some of the base colours more visible on the high points of the frame, and to just give a slight distressed look. The whole frame was then sealed with a spray varnish, although something like shellac could also be used. You could use this as the finished result, in which case wax could have been used to seal the surface, maybe with some rottenstone to add some variation to the ground and high points. This frame will also have a wash applied...

A grey white paint wash was applied over the whole frame, it is just watered down Farrow and Ball emulsion. A damp cloth was used to remove some of the wash from the high points to show some more gilt and paint in places. When the wash had fully dried  a dry cloth was used to apply a little wax to the high points and give a slight gloss to these areas.

Here is the finished frame with gesso slip and painting, which is by John Hammond and is from John Noott Galleries - Broadway Modern.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Next step in making a frame...

The next stage in making this frame was to distress the gilding (12ct white gold over multi coloured bole) with wire wool, then I masked off with 3M removable magic tape and painted the inner sections with Leyland quick drying acrylic primer undercoat. Next comes some lime white paint...

Friday, 28 September 2012

Samples and mock-ups

These two samples are a little different to the usual handmade frames I make, they are amongst 6 samples I am making up for a very good client. There are no strict design ideas, just a guide, so I can try some new things. The more traditional cassetta frame will be quite conventional, with the outer egg and dart moulding and the inner shaped with shot beading moulding being water gilded and given lot of ageing and antiquing. The walnut flat will be polished and I may add some gilt patterns although I have not quite decided on this yet.
The offset corner frame will have the little rosewood square inlaid in the hole, and some shaped mouldings on the inner and outer edges. The other four samples have not been started yet, and these two may end up looking nothing like my original ideas!

Football shirt

I've mentioned before that I don't get many football or sports shirts for framing, and only do them occasionally. This one has been framed in a glossy black frame.

Corners and centres

This Louis XIV corner and centre frame is being finished in a more contemporary way than the traditional gilded finish. I bought the frame in an unfinished gesso state with all the ornament already applied. The frame was given a couple of coats of undercoat and then had diluted red, yellow, and black paint dabbed on all over. Next it will have a gilt finish (bronze powder) and then a grey white wash.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Next frames on the gilding production line!

Last finished frame for now...

This frame was gilded in 12ct white gold, the inner section was again painted off-white and had a grey/pink colourwash. It was next brushed with liming wax which was wiped off immediately, the frame was left for a few minutes before being brushed with various dry pigments. I then cleaned off any wax from the gilding with white spirit, before giving the whole frame a final polish.

Another finished frame

Here is another finished frame that was an earlier post. The outer section of the profile is gilded in lemon gold, the inner section was painted off-white and a grey/brown colourwash was applied to the cove. Next came stippled on wax - Liberon tudor oak and also liming wax, this was left to dry for a few hours before the frame was given a polish and the wax finish was cut back a little with wire wool. The sides were also finished with tudor oak wax, lastly the gilding was wiped with white spirit to remove any wax residue and the frame was given a good polish.

Varied colour distressed frame

This frame has been in a couple of recent posts,
 it has now been finished. This is what was done; after I painted on some stippled paint I covered the inner section with Liberon liming wax which was then wiped off with a cloth, the sides were brushed with antique pine wax.
The frame was left for a few minutes and then I brushed round the inner part (where I had waxed) with various dry pigments such as yellow ochre, and also mixes of pigments in burgundy/reds, blues, brown/greens, and so on. The painted section was given some distressing with fine abrasive paper, and then the gilding was carefully wiped down with white spirit to remove any excess wax. Finally the whole frame was given a really good polish.

The possibilities and variations in the painted section are endless, this example uses a number of colours which are quite strong, although this variation/effect does not come across that well in my photos.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Framers Forum Live 2012

I had a very enjoyable time at the Framers Forum Live event at the weekend, always good to meet up with other framers and talk frames!

Gilding workshop

Here are a few photos from the gilding workshop at the Framers Forum Live meeting in Stratford-Upon-Avon, which I attended on Sunday. 

Stipple paint

This frame was seen a few posts ago, the next stage was to paint the inner section with one coat of quick drying acrylic primer undercoat and two coats of lime white. Then I stippled on some diluted paint in two different colours. Next comes the last finishing touches.

Borrowing ideas

I get lots of ideas from seeing other framers' work, I think it is a part of the creative process to see what others are doing and either replicate or adapt them in your own way, or within reason even make an exact copy and steal the design.

I saw a frame like this one above a while ago, and really liked the look of it. I have tried to make one exactly the same. The deep outer frame has a dark green paint base (on gesso) and it has been oil gilded in aluminium leaf. Then it is really heavily distressed, and has been given some paint flecking, toned with shellac, pigments, and is finished with wax.

The wide bevel slip has a usual gesso base, it is then painted off-white and covered in very fine paint speckles and flecks, and is finished with stippled on wax.

Is it OK to copy other framers' frames?

I recently saw a picture framing website which had copied large amounts of information from my website. This was not just similar content but exactly the same, word for word plagiarism. I am sure lots of websites are built by looking at other sites and getting ideas, then drawing on these ideas to develop your own site. I know I looked round other websites when I designed mine, but I wrote all of the content myself and it took me absolutely ages.

Charles Caleb Colton said: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”

This is actually what I thought, someone believed my content was so good, they would not even try to hide the fact that they had simply taken the hard work of someone else, and were passing it off as their own.

I like helping framers when I can, and say honestly, had I been contacted by a framer who wanted to use my content on their own site, I would have been happy to help. If they wanted to simply copy the text then I think it is reasonable to get a credit for this, it is after all my property. Alternatively they could have used the text as a base and then re-written it in their own style, without having to credit me as the original author.

Anyway life is too short to spend more time thinking about this, the person who took my work has now re-written it in their own style, and I wish them all the best.

Bright gilded frame

This is not one of my frames, it was supplied by a gallery and I am just fitting a painting in.  It is burnished on the inner and outer edges and is quite heavily distressed all over.

Great fluted cove

This is a lovely French fluted cove frame, the style is called Second Empire. It was probably made in the first half of the 20th Century, and is a really good quality frame.