Saturday, January 30, 2016

Missing Pieces

Finished restoration

This large oval  frame was damaged when being fitted for a mirror. Unfortunately, the pieces that came off were not found. The biggest missing section was about three inches long, encompassing a section of the bold outer ornament. And of course, this was needed ASAP.

This is usually one of the simplest types of repair, but this one was more difficult since when the original composition ornament was steamed and bent over the frame, there were some very thin sections at the high point, while the flowers facing out were quite thick and three dimensional.

Someone else started repairing this, and the placement of the molded replacement was far out of alignment, making it much too noticeable. First I had do chop this out.

Earlier repair attempt did not quite fit.

Fortunately, they did make a flexible mold and got it to me, so I was able to cast new sections, but due to the problems of thickness/thinness, it took three castings before I was able to get one that was satisfactory.

The thickness of the castings meant they had to dry overnight, so it took a few days just to get things that far.After installation, additional carving was needed to bring things into alignment with adjacent areas.

After several molding attempts, new casts are installed.

As is often the case with this type of frame, only highlights (in this example, the blossoms) were water gilded. The rest was done with bronze powder.

After the usual process of fitting the sections, applying gesso and clay, The owner wants it today, so I was up late putting on clay, and very early this morning to gild.

Gilding clay applied
Gilding and burnishing

After gilding and burnishing these blossoms, he rest of the job entails the fussy aspect of matching new sections to the coloring of the original. This involves a number of steps and materials, complicated by the fact that due to deadline, I don't have the luxury of anything requiring a long dry time.

Coloring and toning begins.

This is not the first time I've had a repair job like this where missing pieces were discarded. What was a time-consuming process could have been avoided (or at least shortened) if the original pieces were present.

Finishing the toning to match replacements to rest of frame

Friday, January 8, 2016

Holy Gilding Batman!

FInished Frame for "The Watchers"

A few weeks ago I posted about the "Accidental Frame" that was made when I really needed a frame for this artwork. The work is an etching titled "The Watchers". I had a frame of this type in mind when the print was purchased several years ago, but since it was not a customer project, it was at the bottom of the priority list.

Making the "accidental" frame was a blessing in disguise, as it allowed me to work out the design details, and the changes for this one made it even more effective than I originally planned. Practice makes perfect!

Leafing design elements in process

Leafed design elements completed

Fish motif