Friday, 21 November 2014


Small Carved Frames

A selection of 18th and 19th century carved wood frames, good for framing watercolours and prints. 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Louis XIV Reproduction Frames

A selection of reproduction Louis XIV corner and centre frame corner samples, in various finishes.

Fluted Empire Frames

Here are two great examples of fluted second Empire frames, both have a really deep hollow shape. The gilding on the top frame is heavily distressed, which shows the blue/gray bole clay that is beneath the gold leaf.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Some Frames

A couple of jobs finished today, the piece framed in the top photo has the paper float mounted so the edges of the paper are seen. A piece of foamboard under the paper raises it from the backing mountboard, creates a shadow and gives the floating effect. 

The second frame has a single extra thick mount, there is a gap between the mount and the paper, this is created by having another unseen spacer mount. This is done because the artwork framed is a pastel, and sometimes small pieces of pastel can come away from the paper and drop down. The intention is that these pieces will fall down into the gap and not collect at the bottom of the mount.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Large Mount

I've posted in the past about large and oversize mounts and how they can be dealt with, links to previous posts below: 

The blue mount in these photos is on a movie poster I framed recently, the mount has been made by joining two sheets of mountboard together, to give a mount larger than the standard size of 32" x 44" that this colour is available in. The top photo shows the join is unnoticeable when viewed face on, only really from the side or above can the join be seen, and even then only from a few inches away. I have another of these types of oversize mounts to do next week.

White Gold

This deep hockey shaped frame (named because it resembles a hockey stick), has a heavily distressed gilded finish. It is water gilded using 12ct white gold on the face and 9ct white gold on the sides, although you can't really see the subtle colour difference between the different carats in my photo. The leafing is intentionally irregular and patchy to give a rather crude looking finish!

Mount and Frame

A corner photo of a watercolour which is mounted, and framed in a gilded and painted frame.

Gesso Frame

Just another frame that has been coated with gesso, this is one of my favourite profiles. I am making two frames from this moulding at the moment, one will be gilded with 23.5ct gold and the other with 22ct moon gold.

Papier Ornament

This is another example of a papier mache ornamented frame, despite being very large at 45" x 62" rebate size, it is incredibly light weight.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Moon Gold Frame

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Small Scoop Frame

This little frame has moon gold gilding, with the inner section is painted with colour washes. It will next have some wax and pigments to add more colours and to give a distressed look to the paint finish.

Frame Cut Down

The frame from the previous post after it has been cut down. The slip is painted with Farrow and Ball paint.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Silver Frame Cut Down

This large 20th Century silver frame is being cut down to fit a smaller painting, the bevel slip fits the painting, and the silver frame is the correct size on the short dimension, but the long side will be cut down to fit.

Reeded Frame

A reeded profile frame with 23.5ct gold leaf finish, it has been gilded with gold size, next it will be sealed with shellac and then some wax will add a slight aged look.

Small Gilded Frame

This is the little frame from yesterday after it has been gilded with 22ct Moon gold.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Small Gesso and Bole Frame

A small gesso frame that has been painted with grey bole, it will be gilded with 22ct Moon gold leaf.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Matching Pair of Antique Frames

Antique paintings often come in pairs, although it can sometimes be a real challenge to find a matching pair of original antique frames that are a suitable size and style for a pair of paintings. Of course good reproduction frames can be made, but they are not the same as period frames. These two 19th Century Rococo revival swept frames are a perfect size and style for a pair of paintings that we have been searching for the right frames for. They clearly need a lot of work but it is unlikely another pair of the right size will come along for years.

Finish Stripping

This 19th Century has been cut down to fit a smaller painting It had been regilded in metal leaf at some point in the past, and did not look very nice, so now this poor finish is being stripped off. The frame will then be joined together and regilded with gold leaf.

Reeded Frame

A simple reeded frame profile that has had a thin coating of gesso sprayed on to fill the wood grain. Reeded frames are generally known as 'Whistler' frames after the artist.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Museum Glass vs Standard Glass

I mentioned in the last couple of posts about the lack of museum glass (defined simply as a glass which has an anti-reflective coating and high UV filter level) on many of the paintings I saw recently in two public art galleries in Birmingham. 

You do still have some reflections with museum glass, but instead of bright white, the reflections have a purple/blue colour tint and are much less noticeable. In most normal conditions and settings museum glass is almost invisible, and offers high clarity while also having a high UV filter level, some are also laminated (to prevent damage to the artwork should the glass be broken). Another type of museum glazing is Tru Vue Optium, which is a very high quality acrylic glazing, which has the additional benefits of light weight and is virtually unbreakable, it is considered the best available.

The first image below was probably the worst example that we saw, the atmospheric painting depicts an industrial landscape, and whilst you can look at it from various angles to avoid the reflections, it does not make for a good viewing experience.

The example below was one of the few paintings with good quality glass, it is glazed with Tru Vue Museum, and while you can still see some reflections due to the strong light sources required in a gallery setting, the difference is clearly visible.

RBSA - The Story of the Royal Society of Artists

We also visited the RBSA yesterday, which has a small exhibition; 'A Place for Art: The Story of the Royal Society of Artists' that runs until the 15th November. The exhibition has some great paintings from the Birmingham school of artists. Again there was the same problem with standard glass, with only a few paintings (8 or 9) framed with museum glass, but there were also some good frames to be seen, a few photos below:

The Angel of the Annunciation by Mary Gwenllian Gibson

Corner detail of the frame on the painting above, a cushion profile with incised patterns, really lovely frame. Mrs Framemaker can be seen in the reflections...

Corner detail of the frame on the painting above, showing shell and dragon ornament, which appear to be stamped and gilded metal.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

We went to Birmingham today and visited the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. My third visit to the gallery, I always like looking at the Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite paintings and frames, many of which are artist designed and far superior to most Victorian frames. I especially like the frames on Joseph Edward Southall paintings, many are boldly carved, Italianate looking and were gilded by his wife, Anne Elizabeth Baker (Southall). They really stand out among the more mass produced Victorian compo frames.

As a picture framer, but also as a viewing member of the public, I am amazed at how many paintings in the gallery are framed with standard float glass and not anti-reflective 'museum' glass. There were only a handful framed with museum glass, and after pointing out the difference to my wife, she became aware of how standard glass really inhibits and spoils the viewing of the paintings. I am surprised that the transition to museum glass has not happened yet, in the public gallery of one of the largest cities in England.

This painting is glazed with anti-reflective museum glass, the shine at the top is from the paint varnish.

The Lost Child by Arthur Hughes
Another painting that is glazed with anti-reflective museum glass, again the shine at the top is from the paint surface and not the glass.

A very poor photo, but it clearly illustrates the reflections caused, you can see Mrs Framemaker and I, light sources, and everything else behind us.

The darker a painting is, the worse the reflections, and 'mirror effect'. This is glazed with standard glass and it is almost impossible to appreciate the painting.