Tabernacle Frame Done, final details


Very happy to share the final results of the large, tabernacle frame I’ve been working on lately.  It was commissioned by Christine Vallieres and our goal was to design a frame that combined the traditional style of a tabernacle without an excess of ornamentation.  One concern was the weight of it but this weighs less than 30 pounds which is no problem considering that it’s almost 5′ tall!

Tabernacle Frame with painting by Christine Vallieres

Christine and another artist will be having a show at The Sagrado Galleria which is located in South Phoenix.  The show will be in March, I’ve given a link to their Facebook page so you can get full details.  If you recall from my earlier post about this frame the design evolved (obviously) around the painting and the shape and placement of the spandrel.  The spandrel is the gold leafed portion around the painting itself.  Once that was decided work went on as described in this blog post.  To save weight and allow for the mortise and tenon construction the frame was rabbeted out to a depth equal to the thickness of the painting plus the spandrel.  Actually, it was engineered for the painting to stand a little proud so that the final piece of hardboard; which is screwed screwed to the  back of the frame, holds it securely in place.

As usual, it’s pretty difficult to photograph the true finish of a frame or piece of furniture on the internet but here’s a couple of photos to give you an idea.  The frame was first sealed with red burnisher/sealer.  After burnishing that, Japan paint (black) was brushed on and rubbed back slightly to replicate age and handling.  This is always subjective but my client preferred to not have a lot of that “age” showing.  Multiple coats of amber shellac were applied after that to add a warmth to the finish.  This is followed by a coat of wax which in addition to a layer of protection settles into some of the recesses and looks like a few years accumulation of dust!

It’s always a great feeling when your work is well received by your client and this was.  Here’s a parting shot showing the artist and painting and the frame and the framer.



About woodworksbyjohn

I'm a retired woodshop teacher. I build one of a kind furniture pieces and custom picture frames. You can see some of my currently available work, boxes, carvings through my Etsy store: Contact me about your project -- always up for the challenge of unique work.
This entry was posted in Artist, custom profile, Design Process, Gilding, Picture Frames, spandrel, Tabernacle and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Tabernacle Frame Done, final details

  1. Pingback: Tabernacle Frame # 157 | Woodworks by John

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