I was recently asked to make a frame to surround a picture being entered for the Association of Wildlife Artists annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London.
The artist wanted a simple square profile in gold. I suggested a hand finished frame with a distressed gold finish. The wood was to be solid ash.
As the frame was to be made from a single profile it was therefore fairly simple to make.
The frame was cut from a simple square ash profile which was then hand painted with several layers of gesso. The finish was to be fairly rough and to have an aged look so rubbing down and smoothing was limited to a quick removal of the high spots and any rough edges.
The next step was to apply the ‘bole’. Traditionally this is made from red clay and is used prior to water gilding to provide a porous but perfectly smooth surface on which to lay the gold leaf. In this case, however the bole was to provide the effect of ageing and to be seen through the gold when finally finished. Two coats of red clay frame paint were applied.
Finally a layer of Liberon gilt varnish was applied and when dry rubbed back to reveal the red clay undercoat. This was done gently to give a patchy, aged look. Finally the frame was waxed, the back was taped and it was packed up and dispatched along with all the fittings required for fitting the canvas and hanging.
I really enjoy making this type of hand finished frame and will be expanding the range of frames offered both on-line and at the workshop.
Frames are supplied in a tough shipping box made in our workshop. This provides good protection for the frame in transit and can be used for onward shipping if you need to submit your work via art couriers.
I’ve had some requests recently for some deep section shadow box frames. Up until now I was making shadow boxes that gave an internal space of 17mm between the boards and the glazing. If your 3D work, such as decoupage or other 3D objects, needs a little more space I am now offering a deeper section frame which provides 33mm of useable space between the boards and the glazing.
The frames are made of solid ash and can be wall hung or used free standing (up to A4 in size). Glazing is acrylic to avoid the possibility of breakages and the boards are antique white and acid free. Other colour boards are available if required.
The beauty of these frames is that they don’t have an ugly box sticking out the back that you see with many shadow box frames, to my mind this looks ugly and it is also is a bit of a dust trap. They look attractive as free standing display cases on sideboards or bedside tables and of course look great when wall hung.
The frames are available in a range standard and bespoke sizes. See our website for more information.
There are a number of picture framing books on the market, some aimed at the professional and some aimed at the DIY end of the market, all have their pros and cons some are of course better than others and some are aimed at the American market. So faced with a choice between an expensive bill for books and hours of reading I have added a page under the links section of Ashcraft Framing’s website where it is possible to browse through the various books on the market, read the existing reviews and if you like make a purchase.
I have to admit that time has been in short supply in recent weeks, hence the lack of posts recently but I hope to make amends for that soon. In the mean time you may find some interesting reading in one of the books you can find here. Happy reading!