Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Accidental Frame

In the interest of efficiency, when I have things of my own to frame I may wait to  cut and join the wood frame when I have several to do, even though I may not finish gilding/painting for some time. Sometimes a real long time.

Frame with gold leaf details

In this case, I had an etching purchased several years ago, the frame was cut, and was even gilded and painted. I knew I would include some other design work, but hadn't come to final decisions. In a burst of "let's get some of these unfinished projects out of the way", I added gold leaf design work to the panel of the frame (a "faux sgraffitto" technique).

Since, as with the frames, I often get the mats cut ahead of time, and along with the art work, put them away for safe keeping, I next had to retrieve the art and mat. Amazingly, it was, for once, where I thought it would be. But when I went to assemble the package, something was off. A lot off. the art and mat were for an 8 x 10 frame, and my newly finished frame was 11 x 14.

I know that I sometimes mess up measurements, but this was bad, even for me. I went looking through the other unfinished projects, and found a frame the correct size. In fact, it was even noted on the back that it was meant for the etching.

But, as luck would have it, I did have a painting of mine that fit, and, was much better for the new frame than the one it was in before.

"Power Psychic" oil on canvas by Joseph Rice

Now I just have to finish the other frame. Maybe next year.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Restoration of a 19th Century Frame

One of my regular clients brought in this 19 century frame. Typical of the period, it had varying styles of composition ornament, with the topmost a running garland of leaves. The surface seems to have been a combination of gold leaf in prominent areas, with the rest finished with bronze powder. 

Frame in un-restored condition.

 As these frames aged and dried out, the composition ornament would crack and come loose. There was one significant loss on the top border, and smaller numerous losses to the cove ornament. There had been some old repairs and bronze paint.

Mold and castings.

After re-adhering all the loose sections, I made molds and casts for the replacements. Fitting them in is always tedious, and requires making extras in case of breakage.

Fitting in the replacements.

Finally, gilding and toning to match the coloring and patina of the rest of the frame.

Finished frame.