Thursday, 14 January 2016

Gesso Frames

Making up a batch of gesso, which will keep in the fridge for a week or so. In England gesso is traditionally made from whiting (calcium carbonate) and rabbit skin glue (animal hide type adhesive) other fillers such as gypsum - calcium sulphate, and adhesives such as parchment size and gelatin can also be used. There are also a number of non-traditional recipes, but in my opinion the best material for creating a smooth surface on frames is whiting and RSG. It is such a simple material to make and work with, and is very versatile.

Gesso coated frames drying, only a couple of coats were needed to fill the wood grain on these two frames as they were finished with paint and bronze powder gilding.


A gesso frame with low relief pastiglia stars (pastiglia decoration is made from building up layers of gesso)  

A very wide frame profile which had 5 coats of gesso applied, totally filling the wood grain, covering the corner mitres, and providing a very smooth surface for gilding. 

Freshly sprayed on gesso, this is just one coat.

Small frame with heavily textured gesso surface, created by using a brush and just by applying gesso thickly and unevenly, this frame had about 6 coats of gesso.