Tuesday, October 11, 2011

One of the latest 22k frames built--this one around a 16x20 by Keith Bond

Friday, June 10, 2011

Four more

These 4 frames also house paintings by Alyson Kinkade (out of Loveland, Colorado). I designed the frames using various moldings from the local mill, most of which I had to modify in some way or another. The frames are all hefty--around 5 inches wide and 3 inches deep.

I really need to thank Damon Searles for taking these superb photos.The fine photography allows us to see the unique qualities of frames that are hand built and hand finished. The raw wood is sanded after I construct each frame, but that is only the beginning of the finishing attention it will receive. After the original carpentry every one goes through about 25 intricate steps.
Paint and shellac is always brushed on. The gold leaf is hand laid in the traditional fashion. Between all of the 9 or 10 layers of finish applied, each frame is wet sanded, rubbed, burnished, or polished by hand. The subtle effect of all of this attention by hands (not power tools) is apparent in the barely visible brush strokes, the softness around the corners, the polish, the slight variations in color and sheen, the depth and distressing, and the overall warmth of a hand made frame.

This painting is a 16x16 of Longs Peak Wilderness. I went with all 22k gold to highlight the bright colors and accentuate the light in the painting.

The painting below is a 20x28 and a similar view of the Front Range mountains. Also water-gilt with 22k gold, this frame is made out of the same moldings as the frame above but the outside cap is reversed--which makes for a nice contemporary profile.

Below are two 22k frames with dark umber. The paintings are of Siena, Italy, both 18x22. They are very similar but have different cap moldings. The first is identical in construction to the 16x16 frame at the top of this post. The second is a more traditional Italian style and is a perfect candidate for a fine scraffito. Hopefully I'll post a picture of one soon, but these paintings look better without any busy adornment.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

up and running

The frame below is for a local painter, Alyson Kinkade. It's quite large--almost 4x5 feet. I took a few pictures of the finishing process to show how a frame comes to life.

All poplar wood. The frame here has been cut, glued, screwed, and sanded. Next it will be shellacked to seal the pores of the wood and provide adhesion for the bole.

Here the frame has its first coat of clay, or bole.

After several coats of yellow bole (with sanding and attention to making sure all corners are clean in between coats), the frame is polished. Then some thin red bole is applied to achieve a nice color--the goal is to bring out the warm colors in the focal areas of the painting--and the frame is polished again. The liner and the inside lip of the reverse are then water-gilt with 22 karat gold. It will take several hours (often overnight) to dry.

The gold is then burnished with an agate stone and the rest of this particular frame is painted with a deep raw umber. Then the whole thing undergoes a gentle aging process, and viola, it's finished.