Saturday, 29 March 2014

Gilt finish

A simple bronze powder finish has been done on this frame.

Overpainted Empire Frame

This antique frame is a distinct style from the early 19th Century, related to the Empire style which originated in Napoleonic France. The frame has composition ornament Greek scrolling corners featuring the caduceus from Greek mythology, and a deep scotia shape. I believe this particular design came after the Empire period during the time known as the Bourbon Restoration, (the period marking the two occasions when Napoleon lost the throne). The general Empire style was also adopted in German and was known as the Biedermeier style. 
This frame has clearly been over-painted, this will be removed and the frame will be restored to an original condition.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Polished fruitwood

I saw this polished fruitwood frame in a gallery today and thought it was great. The style is Dutch, popular from the 17th Century, and original examples of Dutch frames are highly sought after.

Original and Repro

Here is a comparison between an original 17th Century Louis XIII flower corner frame (the style overlaps into the Louis XIV period) and a modern, 20th Century reproduction. The style is also referred to as a Lebrun frame after the French painter who was the first painter to Louis XIV, and was declared by the Sun King as "the greatest French artist of all time"

Gold on Black

Gold leaf on black bole, distressed, and with a grey colourwash.

Paint texture

I mentioned in the last post about fine mess or netting being used on some antique frame styles, here is a contemporary version of this way of adding surface texture. This frame was made by another framer, I like this effect and will be trying something similar myself.

Small Antique Swept

A small antique swept frame that needs some repairs. It has a nice original distressed gilded finish, and the ornament design is a little unusual. The base or ground of the frame has a fine mesh applied to it which adds texture to the surface. 

Friday, 14 March 2014

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Brown bole

A frame painted in dark brown bole which is ready to be gilded.

Wide frame profile

A wide shaped moulding that has been water gilded in 12ct white gold, lightly distressed, and then sealed to prevent tarnishing of the silver content. 12ct white gold is 50% silver and 50% gold (12/12) and the silver will darken over time unless it is sealed to stop it oxidising. 

Gold cove frame

A cove or scoop shaped frame that has been water gilded in 23.5ct gold leaf. The top photo is just after the frame has been water gilded. The second photo is after the gilding has been distressed. The last two photos show the finished frame after an off-white wash has been applied to the whole frame.

White gold gilded frame

The top photo is after the frame has been gilded in 12ct white gold, and the second two photos are the finished frame after distressing and sealing. 

Monday, 10 March 2014

White gold contemporary frame

Bole clay

Friday, 7 March 2014

Neoclassical carved antique frame

This antique carved neoclassical frame, probably 18th century Italian, is an excellent example of a frame that has an original water gilded and burnished finish underneath a later applied gilded finish consisting of layers of gesso, bole, and oil gilding. This was probably done in the 19th century as the later applied finish is very aged and dirty. There are a few reasons why this may have been done; perhaps areas of the original gilding were worn through and heavily distressed, or perhaps the highly burnished finish was too bright for the taste and fashion of the time. In the photos you can see one area where the 'new' gilding and gesso has come away from the original gilding, which appears to be in very good condition. The frame also looks as if it has been cut down, possibly when it was re-gilded. 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Pre-Raphaelite influenced frame

This beautiful little antique frame has some Pre-Raphaelite inspired incised patterns reminiscent of motifs used by Rossetti. It is a simple but really great looking frame.

More gessoing

Lots of frames being gessoed at the moment, the compressor is still offline, so doing all these by hand makes me realise how time saving it is spraying gesso.

Tulip frame

This tulip frame is a custom made profile, based on a 19th Century frame pattern. It is being covered in gesso, next it will be painted with bole, and then it will be gilded.

Pins and silk

My compressor is being repaired so some frames have had to be joined using the old fashioned side pinning method, this small slip has also had some silk glued on the back to strengthen the corners. I actually think this side pin or cross pin joining on frames is better in some ways than the modern corner wedges, just much more time consuming. I have also been joining lots of frames using a Hoffmann dovetail router, which is an excellent alternative to my usual compressed air driven underpinner joints.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Gold mitre blocks

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Louis XIV style

An example of an early 20th century Louis XIV style corner and centre frame, based on French 17th Century frames. The style is generally known as, and sometimes called a Bérain frame, named after Jean rain (1640-1711) the French designer and artist who had a huge influence on styles of the 17th century.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Corner block - black