Wednesday, 31 October 2012

My standard frames

Here are a few of my regular frames. They are water gilded in 23.5ct gold with painted scoop and sides.The top frame has just been finished, the other two were made some time ago and have just had new paintings fitted in them. The paintings are by Jeremy Houghton.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

18th Century

A beautiful example of an early 18th Century English carved frame. It's a variation of Louis XIV frame styles.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Pair of Georgian coves

A really useful pair of 18th Century cove frames, a classic English frame with über-distressed water gilded finish. I think they are great as they are but they could also be restored if required.

Watts frames

Two of the better Watts frames found amongst the stock collected at the weekend, one in very good condition, the other not so good.
There are three other Watts frames which were made later, and are a little more mass produced looking, but still suitable for some period framing.

New old stock

I started collecting part of a large number of stock frames this weekend, here are some of  them before they have been put away in the storage racks. It is a real mixed lot with a few 18th Century, a number of 19th Century and lots of 20th C and repro frames of almost every imaginable style, condition, and quality.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Little repairs part 3.

Little repairs part 2.

For these repairs I used a two part epoxy putty called Magic Sculp, or you can also use traditional composition. Depending on the area being replaced you can either press some into the moulds made earlier, let it set, then trim to fit the missing area and glue in place. The other way, which I used here was to guess the amount of putty you will need, put it in the damaged area and then use the mould to create the impression.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Little repairs

Here are just a few small repairs I am doing at the moment, all typical damage from handling and shipping. A mould is taken from an intact section using a silicone type impression material used in medical/dental spheres, they are either two-part materials which are mixed 50:50 or a main material into which a small amount of catalyst is mixed.
I mainly use three different types; Otoform AK, 
Coltène Lab Putty, and Kemsil Precise. The only difference really being the shore hardness/flexibility of the mould once it has set. Once the mould is made, it can be used replace the missing sections.
I always keep these moulds, once made the material can't be used to make a new impression but it could be used on a similar repair, should the same ornament come up in the future. This is wishful thinking as finding the mould to match the frame ornament would take too long, I am just reluctant to throw them away, and have kilos of them!

You can get some mould making materials (like Vinamold) that can be reused, but they are much harder to work with though, as you need to melt the material in a saucepan and build a fence around the area you want to copy. Useful for long  running patterns, but not practical for little repairs.

Some mould making suppliers:

Alec Tiranti

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Spray gesso

Two frames which have just had one thick coat of gesso sprayed on, these will have quite distressed paint finishes so one coat will be enough.

Silver, white gold, and aluminium leaf gilding

Monday, 22 October 2012

Black over red distressed

This post just fills in some missing photos from an earlier one, where I intended to do a step by step but missed out this stage. The other photos in the process are here:
Paint finish

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Metal leaf box

This box frame has been gilded with metal leaf using acrylic size (also called Wunda size), it was then sealed with an acrylic varnish before being given a coat of wax to add a little interest to the finish.

Unwanted frames

Framing work often involves taking a picture out of an existing frame and choosing something new. Sometimes the frame and mount may look a little outdated, maybe the customer just does not like the style, or heaven forbid it does not fit in with the room decor where it will hang. Some of the old frames are just discarded, anything worth keeping is offered back to the customer, artist, or gallery but they rarely want them back.

Here are just a few frames that I have got from re-framing pictures, the two water gilded and burnished 1970's frames at the front are my favourites amongst these examples, behind them there is a water gilt spoon made by John Jones Ltd in London. The frame behind the reproduction Watts (outer) is a nice shape, probably 1980's and behind this is a mid 20th C water gilt cushion frame which came off a John Nash landscape. At the back is a simple unfinished walnut flat which is a lovely wood to stain and wax.

Old oak frames a regularly discarded for newer framing (all be it usually in 'old' effect or style), when I think they look very good on old prints, pictures, and photographs. Often sadly and inevitably (and sometimes for the better) pictures and paintings are taken out of their original or later re-frames to meet new tastes.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Frames of Interest

Here is another great frame related blog that I found this evening:

It is written by conservator Berit Møller, and is a research work and detailed documentation of antique frames that were primarily made in Denmark, as they surround mainly Danish paintings.
Looks to be another really good site that will continue to contribute to the appreciation of antique frames and their importance to art history.

Working out of the workshop

This large 19th Century swept frame needed some small repairs to various sections of ornament and they needed doing quickly for Haynes Fine Art of Broadway.
The frame was too big to fit in my van so it would have needed to be moved by an art carrier, and the paintings are always removed from their frames and kept at the gallery while I work on them at my workshop. These factors would have all added to the turnaround time, so I had a change from the workshop and did the work at the gallery:

Carved reproduction frame

This is a reproduction carved frame, lovely work, with a water gilded finish which is not overly bright and rubbed through to the bole and gesso in places. I am not entirely sure what style this frame fits into. I think it is best just described as Louis XV but perhaps it also has a 
Régence feel to it, which was the period immediately before Louis XV. But on the other hand... it has some more restrained elements like the straight gadrooned sides  which make me think of the end of the Louis XV period when the favoured frame designs in France went right back to much less flamboyant and more classic designs that became the mark of the Louis XVI period.
A lovely frame whatever it's called! answers or ideas on a postcard to the usual address...

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Stacked or combined mouldings

It is common practice for framers to combine two or more mouldings together to create new profiles, shapes, and styles. This can be very good for replicating some older frame styles, using easily available shapes and without the expense of having profiles custom made, especially if you can modify the mouldings with a router or table saw. I think this method works best when you use barewood mouldings and are going to do some sort of hand finishing on the frames, be it paint, gesso, or gilding.
Using the method with prefinished mouldings can look as if you have just stuck different frames together, as the finishes may not match up that well, although there are exceptions where it can work very well.
The simplest example I do all the time is just a inner scoop, bevel, or flat shaped moulding used as a wide slip with an outer frame, these are glued together and then gessoed and finished as one frame. You can create some wide and stunning looking frames simply by adding a number of mouldings together. The photos above are basic examples and all modern looking, I will post some more traditional and complex examples sometime soon.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Stiller Designs

Carved French frame by Jutta Stiller.
Stiller Designs

I have followed this woodcarving blog, by carver Jutta Stiller, for a year or so. There are some lovely examples of hand carved picture frames and details of the processes involved in making truly hand made picture frames:

Stiller Designs - Frames