Now that this frame has reached the burnisher/sealer stage I feel as if I can show it on the blog. I’ve decided to call it Flower Nouveau since there is some of that style incorporated into the design. The inspiration for this came from Chris Pye’s project on his workshop site called Victorian Lintel. It’s about 7″ long so it needed to be reduced in both size and complexity:
Lay-out was quite a challenge. The profile of this molding has a deep cove so using a compass was out of the question. Thank goodness for printer/scanners that allow you to size a picture to whatever you need. I ended up making 4 different templates that were attached to my ever popular salad container plastic. Love these, they are reversible and flexible. Won’t bore you with all of the details but here’s a brief slideshow of what I went through.
Briefly the process was to scribe the outer edge of the ribbon with a marking gauge after determining its position with the template (slide 1). After drawing in the ribbon across the miter everything was scribed which made it easier to follow with the v-tool. The long bent chisels were the best choice for this application. Since a compass wouldn’t work in this space I resorted to using templates to draw the circle then set off the petal locations with a divider. The center of the boss was drawn in first then outlined with a #8/13mm followed up with the long bent #5. Very challenging but I think it’ll read just fine when the frame is complete.
The entire boss was first outlined with a v-tool then eventually scooped out after locating the very center of it with the #8/13. All work is hand pressure only so as not to go so deeply that the gilding will fault and crack over it. The next challenge was to get the design in the areas just outlined. The templates came in handy once again to compensate for my drawing skills; or lack thereof! In the slideshow you can see how I punched holes in the template where the leaves should be, the notches were easy enough to locate. For me, I find it difficult to work upside down plus trying to draw a mirror image on each leg of the frame. I finally resorted to getting inside of the frame to get the drawing as close as possible (slide 5). Thankfully it’s a 16″x20″ and I’m small enough fit!
As with everything, life is a work in progress and the goal is to make all eight of the sides look as close to being the same as humanly possible. That will only improve as I continue doing this work. There’s always a balance between looking rough and too primitive and the extreme likeness only a CNC machine can produce — I’ll err towards the side that shows the human hand! An assortment of fishtail chisels were used to do the edges. The long bent gouges and v-tools were an invaluable addition to being able to carve in the coves. Next up — gilding.